Virus experts ask: what's in a name?

Wednesday, 1 October 2003, 2:44 PM EST

What's in a name?" That was the question computer virus experts were asking each other at a panel discussion of virus naming conventions at Virus Bulletin 2003, an annual gathering of the world's leading authorities on computer viruses, worms, and malicious code that was held in Toronto last week.

Disagreements about what and how to name new worms and viruses have produced a confusing system in recent years in which antivirus companies often compete to be the first to "name" a new virus and in which the same malicious code often has two or more names assigned to it, experts agreed.

Moderated by David Perry, global director of education at Trend Micro, the panel was made up of noted malicious-code experts, who often name viruses, and antivirus representatives from large corporations, who struggle with the practical problem of defending against new computer virus threats.

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