Tech Industry

Are antivirus firms crying wolf?

Panic over computer viruses like the recent "Love" bug creates lucrative opportunities for antivirus firms--and perhaps a temptation to jump the gun on issuing alerts.

 

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Panic over computer viruses, such as the recent "Love" bug that swept through systems worldwide causing billions of dollars in damage, creates lucrative opportunities for antivirus firms--and perhaps a temptation to jump the gun on issuing alerts.

"There is no question that the potential for a conflict of interest is there."

- Richard Smith, security expert

 


Some say antivirus alerts jump the gun
Some industry experts say that companies issuing virus alerts could be sounding premature alarms for bugs that might not pack much of a punch.

"Love Bug" damages businesses most
The latest assessment to come out of studies on the "I love you" virus says that 26 percent of people were struck at work, compared to 3 percent at home.

previous coverage
Virus posing as Symantec email could be worst
update A recent "Love" see CNET Software: Protect yourself from a virus attackbug copycat masquerading as a Symantec cure for the virus appears to be the most destructive variant yet.

Experts say "Love" spawns at least 8 mutations
update Security experts scramble to keep up with mutations of the "I Love You" virus that may evade earlier fixes, including a new variant that plays on the upcoming Mothers' Day holiday.

Experts estimate damages in the billions for bug
update A new virus sweeping through computer systems will likely be the most costly yet, industry analysts and experts say.

Virus ignites shares of security firms
The latest virus to plague computers worldwide has investors pumping up the price of stocks in companies that provide security for computer systems and data.