To combat the threat of "blended" virus attacks -- such as MSBlast -- security company F-Secure on Wednesday launched a combined firewall and anti-virus product.
The F-Secure Anti Virus Client Security package is designed to combat the new breed of Internet threats, which combine the characteristics of a virus, worm or Trojan horse with a system vulnerability to propagate and launch attacks.
Jason Holloway, UK manager at F-Secure, said that instead of having just an anti-virus package that simply checks for files being saved to the hard disk, a personal firewall is required to protect from external attacks. "As hackers start adopting more virus-like techniques -- using Trojans, back doors -- and viruses use more hacker-like techniques -- we see that the two are not that disparate and require a combined solution," he said.
According to Holloway, a single integrated email/firewall package is far more affective than separate packages: "As MSBlast has shown, if a worm stays in memory for the infection process, it can spread rather quickly through a network because traditional anti-virus solutions can't do anything until something is saved to disk -- and by that time it is too late," he said.
Holloway also pointed out that a combined package is capable of scanning email traffic far more efficiently. Instead of diverting emails through a proxy server, the new F-Secure product can scan packets coming in and out of a desktop looking for email traffic, which is then searched for viruses. "You don't have to change the settings on your email client or worry about which or how many different email clients or servers are being used," he added.
The F-Secure Anti Virus Client Security package is available from Wednesday and costs £35 for an end user licence or £1,500 for a 100 user licence.