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Issue of February 2005 

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2004 Virus roundup

McAfee has released a list of the top ten malicious threats identified by its Anti-virus and Vulnerability Emergency Response Team (AVERT) that had an impact upon enterprises and home users worldwide in 2004.

It reports that bots and mass mailers are still the predominant threats face by enterprises, whereas exploits and adware account for over 60 percent of the malware impacting consumers and home users.

AVERT anticipates that adware and unwanted content, transmitted via e-mail and the Web, will continue to increase in 2005, with programs gaining in complexity. These threats will be combined with content such as spam and phishing.

It is anticipated that phishing attacks will continue to increase throughout 2005 due to a lack of consumer awareness. Additionally, the number of exploits that attack discovered vulnerabilities will rise as more vulnerabilities are discovered and disclosed.

These assessments are based on AVERT's conclusions that today's programs are evolving rapidly, and could at some point, become the successors of mass mailers, the dominant threat for the past six years. Computer virus attacks reaching a medium risk assessment or higher have dramatically increased in 2004, as compared to 2003. Much of this was due to the Netsky-Bagle war in Q1 2004.

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Indian Express - Business Publications Division

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