The Trouble With Viruses

Once again, the virus writers targeted Windows. Microsoft simply has to do a better job of making its OS more secure. • The Trouble with Viruses

As I write this, were just getting over the latest virus scare—if indeed its really over. MyDoom, also known as Novarg, Shimg, and Mimail.R, started propagating itself at a furious rate, initially through Kazaa and as an e-mail attachment. Soon, the fastest-moving infection yet on the Internet was everywhere.

MyDoom wasnt anything special. Most people got infected by clicking on an attachment that turned out to be an executable file—something weve warned our readers about for years. But many still continued to click, and the virus spread.

This is just one more example of the problems that viruses and security holes are creating. Perhaps I was lucky—and perhaps my antivirus software worked—but MyDoom didnt infect any of my computers. I was still bothered by it, though, with lots of e-mail delays. And the sheer number of delivery failure messages MyDoom caused was problematic.

Just consider these stats: In two days, at the height of the infection, we received more than 500 messages at one of our public e-mail addresses: 10 were MyDoom viruses, 300 were about undelivered e-mail due to MyDoom, 200 were spam, and only 30 were legitimate messages. Its enough to make me very concerned about the future of e-mail.