How effective are virus programs on a customer PC?

The other day, I received an email with an attachment, which had the name of “invoice.doc”, with an awfaul a lot of trailing spaces, ending with “.exe”. So I got curious, and checked it with my virus-scanner and with a multi-virus scanner online, and only 3 out of 13 virus scanners managed to detect the trojan. Intrigued by this I continued asking friends who also received the same email, if they opened the attachment. Nonbody opened it, but from a completely different reason than I initially thought, they felt that the email was malicious because of the content, not because of the file in it self. Then I asked them if they would reconsider opening the file, and they said that they didn’t feel comfortable opening the word document, because it might have a virus inside (it was an .exe).
Giving this a little more thought, I raised the question, “What is the turn-around cycle to mitigate a virus?”. Considering that it would probably take 1 week to report the virus after it has been released, and with a highly effective anti-virus team it would take 2 days to analyze the virus, 2 days to implement, test it, and make a release candidate, and the push to the customer would take another 1 week. Summing this up, a rough estimate would mean that a virus scanner would require nearly 3 weeks from first customer encounter to a working virus, assuming everything works swiftly. With the trend in virus making, and the more and more connected world, this is a situation that cannot be sustained, there must happen some dramatic to solve this as anti-virus makers have headache already today.

I would like to have your comments on this….


~ by petergullberg on December 21, 2008.

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