Current Antivirus Software is Not Enough
by Fernando de la Cuadra - International Technical Editor, Panda Software - Friday, 28 November 2003.
In situations of uncertainty or where there is already, for example, widespread fear of terrorist attacks, this can degenerate into all-out panic, helping false alarms to proliferate. For this reason it is important to draw a clear distinction between genuine virus alerts and hoaxes.

The whole problem of hoaxes is much more serious and more difficult to combat than one might think, with many of them circulating freely on the internet, and with all attempts to control them apparently doomed to failure. In fact, many experts believe that putting a stop to them is more or less impossible, although we can all help to reduce the number of hoaxes circulating on the internet.

While false virus alarms are perhaps the favorite method used by internet tricksters, It is also worth distinguishing other types of rumor in order to ensure that the issues are not confused yet further. Many of these are little more than varieties of hoax, but others may have a range of implications which can endanger the security of computer systems.

Hoaxes are really a type of "urban legend" which have flourished in tandem with the expansion of means of communication such as the internet. This gives rise to different types of rumors, and these can be classified according to their subject matter and the type of message they generate.

The reasons for combating such rumors are obvious: not only do they waste time, like spam, but they also create a state of alarm and worry which is harmful to both companies (and their employees) and to home users.


The antivirus protection installed in most companies does an excellent job of protecting against viruses, worms and Trojan horses. However, in today's world we also need to fight many other threats which, while they may not directly damage our computer systems, can cause other indirect damage.

Properly-installed security must address much more than just viruses, and this will lead to higher productivity for everyone and peace of mind for all those concerned with security issues.


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