The coming virus armageddon

Monday, 16 September 2002, 6:53 PM EST

Computer virus writers are known for building on each other's work to create ever-deadlier malware. In the future, a truly malicious code might not create an immediate uproar by hitting the Internet with a big bang. Instead, it could slowly and quietly seize control of a vast number of computers, doing significant but not immediately apparent damage to data.

How conceivable is the supervirus threat? "We never say never in this business," McAfee.com virus research manager April Goostree told NewsFactor. "We've never really seen it, but we've seen some things that are pretty darn close. I really don't see why it couldn't be done."

But Trend Micro global director of education David Perry disagreed, telling NewsFactor that given the nature of viruses today, it is unlikely that one could cripple the Web. "I really don't believe in the concept of there being an ultimate computer virus," he said. "There are rumors about there being a metavirus or megavirus, but it's fiction."

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