Viruses are dead. Long live viruses!

This year has been mercifully quiet on the virus front but anyone who reckons the virus problem has finally been beaten is failing to learn the lessons of history.

The problem of computer viruses has been declared "over" before, only to be "reinvented" a few months later, argues David Perry, a marketing manager at Trend Micro.

In the mid 90s, for example, when Microsoft moved to a virtualised 32-bit OS this greatly reduced the potential effects of boot sector viruses. There wasn't much relief for users though, since this threat rapidly was supplanted with the emergence of Word concept viruses.

The dominant Windows monoculture is blamed by many for the prevalence of viruses. If everybody used Macs or Linux boxes, the argument goes, the virus problem would die overnight. This argument is strengthened by much lower incidents of viruses on these platform and the security loopholes in MS applications, like Outlook, that have contributed to the spread of viruses like the Love Bug.

But Perry says that hopes that a different OS will end the computer virus problem are misplaced. A new OS will change but fail to eliminate the problems posed by computer viruses, he argues.

News source: The Reg

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