UK Tech Week: CIH Virus still a threat

The malicious CIH virus is still a major concern for users who are not taking adequate responsibility to protect their data, according to leading anti-virus software firms.

Officials for Command AntiVirus told delegates at UK Technology Week today that with around 200 new viruses showing up every month and e-mail bringing previously regional viruses to the global scene, the AntiVirus industry is forced to play a game of catch-up. "We can't guarantee that everyone runs anti-virus software" says Jack Clark, technology consultant for Dr Solomons who believes that even when cures are made available users are guilty of not using them - a view endorsed by Kevin Street, technology manager at Symantec. "It is our experience," says Street, "that around the 24th or 25th of each month our phone lines get very very busy. That's a little strange because we've had a free virus solution for CIH since the middle of August."

The CIH virus is famed for obliterating machines on the 26th of each month by attacking the executable files in both Windows 95 and 98.

Lee Fisher, technology consultant for Dr Solomons does not see the problem going away in the immediate future despite cures. Like Symantec, Dr Solomons' lines are 'flooded with calls' around the 25th of each month. "I think it may have something to do with people's view of the anti virus companies" offers Street. "I know it's like people driving with a flat spare tyre, but I'm often asked if it's the companies themselves writing these viruses. I think some credibility has been lost in the anti-virus industry, maybe that's why people aren't downloading solutions, even when they are free."

Ever wondered where the viruses come from? Could it be the anti-virus companies themselves?

ZDNet UK News will post a follow up to this story later this week. Please mail us with your comments.


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