Anti-Virus software is missing the worst

anti-virus software is missing the worst

In an ARS Technica post dated June 6, 2012 Mikko Hypponen, the chief research officer for security software company F Secure – admits that conventional consumer anti-virus software missed the 2 massive Flame & Stuxnet computer viruses that now have the world on edge.

The truth is, consumer-grade antivirus products can’t protect against targeted malware created by well-resourced nation-states with bulging budgets. They can protect you against run-of-the-mill malware: banking trojans, keystroke loggers, and e-mail worms. But targeted attacks like these go to great lengths to avoid antivirus products on purpose.

Flame was a failure for the antivirus industry. We really should have been able to do better. But we didn’t. We were out of our league, in our own game. —Mikko Hypponen is the Chief Research Officer of F-Secure

What is Flame?

A massive 20 MB virus – that went without detection for over 5 years – until discovered in 2012.

Flame has only discovered a few hundred computers infected by the malware.

That’s not that big.

Certainly, it’s pretty insignificant when you compare it to the 600,000 Mac computers which were infected by the Flashback malware earlier this year. —

What is Stuxnet?

A computer worm that infected tens of thousands of PCs in 155 countries during 2010 – most notably it was used to “vandalize an Iranian nuclear site”.

TechTalk Notes:

A Declaration of Cyber-War – Vanity Fair 2011

Flame FAQs – PC World 2012

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4 thoughts on “Anti-Virus software is missing the worst”

  1. Just came from a “virus session” with my local computer shop owner John who has been in the biz since the days of DEC. He says it is nearly impossible to keep up with the virus onslaught. They spend nearly all their time now with virus removal, little with hardware. I was lucky, only had two Trojans they were able to kill. As the article above says, he says the big corp virus products tend to be least effective – but it changes as new products are released. Everybody is scrambling – no easy answers. We both wondered where it all ends (I was with EDS for a time).

  2. Gosh how informative.
    I really know lots now that I did not before.
    We must have more great, informative, & highly relevant articles such as this.

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