Wednesday, May 05, 2004

Virus naming & The Public Good

This appears to be a case where publicity about a particularly nasty worm has suffered because it was named something different by all the major antivirus vendors. Gaobot, which appears to be the Symantec name for this family of worms, isn't even in the title of this document. Microsoft machines and NDemon/Phatbot/Agobot Worms -- 19 Apr 2004 [Updated: 2004.04.27] It would be helpful to their customers if the AntiVirus vendors would agree to a common naming convention, and certain other standards related to identity of malware threats. A checksum should be provided with all descriptions, as well as standardized means to reference the known capabilities of threats. This probably won't happen unless an open source project, perhaps related to ClamAV finds itself so strong that the weaker AntiVirus companies suddenly find it to their advantage to play along. It's more likely that Microsoft will kill off the weaker AntiVirus vendors before that happens. The stronger AntiVirus vendors will eventually get out of the market, too, leaving a defacto standard -- the Microsoft Way, whatever that will be. It'll probably change every 18 months anyway.

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