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What's in a name? Everything

What's in a name? Everything

Once again the major antivirus vendors have dropped the ball on end users by choosing various names for one potentially damaging worm. At CNET we use in our virus alerts the name given by the antivirus vendor McAfee; in this case it's MyWife. However MyWife is also known Tearec (Panda), Nyxem (F-Secure and Sophos), Blackmal (Symantec, Computer Associates, and Vet), GREW (Trend Micro)), and even Kama Sutra. Just last year, the antivirus community agreed to use the US-CERT designation of CME-24 for this worm, but already headlines are starting to appear stating that " Kama Sutra worm ties security in knots" (Register), "All hands on deck next week for Nyxem worm" (SC Magazine), and "Blackworm May Have Already Hit" (Internet News). Ultimately this lack of a common name confuses the end user who only wants to know if a given worm is serious or not. MyWife is serious. It isn't spreading fast, but its payload can be dangerous. For more details see our virus alert here.

Update: 02/02/06 CNET has used McAfee's virus names in the past because their name is typically the one adopted by other AV vendors. As for newly-minted US-CERT designation, CM-24 is a little too obscure for this worm. That said, CNET is now using Kama Sutra to better align our coverage with that offered by News.com.