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May 2005

Editor's Desk: Targeted malware

Calculating Malware "Ten minutes to midnight" is how Patrick Heim described the readout on his "virus doomsday clock" during last year's so-called "Worm Wars." Dozens of MyDoom, Sasser, Bagel and Netsky variants were hammering enterprises, costing millions of dollars in defense and remediation. Yet none was the crippling worm predicted to bring the Internet to its knees. It felt as though the worst was yet to come. A major malware outbreak hasn't occurred in the year or so since, and the clock is still ticking. Heim, VP of security at health care products giant McKesson, says the vulnerability remains, despite the waning threat. "Unless you fix the underlying vulnerabilities and make the users aware of the risks, nothing is fundamentally going to change," he says. There's good reason to remain vigilant. The malware threat is shifting away from the massive global worm outbreaks like Code Red and Blaster to something more surreptitious: targeted malware infections. Everyone knows that organized crime groups are targeting major ...

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