Conficker Panic Might Yield Apathy Towards Future Viruses

Patrick Avery

Shortly before April 1, many news outlets began to report on the Conficker virus, calling the infection "one of the most dangerous threats ever." You can argue that time will tell. After all, the virus has lately come alive as reports indicate the the worm has begun contacting infected computers via a binary file over peer-to-peer.


However, it can also be argued that this panic will no doubt trivialize the efforts by many to warn users of other future, potentially more harmful viruses. Guardian Blogger Charles Arthur points out, that since the Conficker did little on the supposed attack date of April 1, that this non-event has now created a twofold problem.

First, after all this buildup, people are going to find it hard in future not to think that the security industry is crying wolf over such a threat ... But equally, that means that people get lax about security -- thinking that since they didn't see anything dramatic happen when the last one blew around, that means that it's not important.

With all of this, arguably unnecessary, hubbub over computer viruses, can we can legitimately assess which infections cause a serious threat and which ones do not? Will this contribute to apathy toward other virus warnings from the computer-security industry? Join the discussion on this controversial subject here.


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Apr 19, 2009 4:12 AM Ralph DeFrangesco Ralph DeFrangesco  says:

I would like to respecfully diasgree with Mr. Arthur here. We have to look at why it was a non-event and that's because we were aware and prepared. It was like Y2K. Everyone involved did their job so it didn't happen - a non-event. No one was disapointed when there wasn't a complete meltdown and airplanes didn't drop from the sky.

As long as there are viruses, worms, and other vulnerabilities people will do their jobs to protect what they get paid to protect. Now, I think the bigger question is, given the rate that new threats are created, can we keep ahead of all of them in the future?


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