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January 7, 2009

Are Viruses Relevant Any More?

Filed under: Main — admin @ 12:01 am

Think about it: How long has it been since you’ve seen the bubble heads on the media go all pop-eyed over a computer virus?

It’s been ages! If you can recall back to the 1990s, virus warnings were de rigueur for the evening news. Take a slow news day, mix in some irrational computer virus panic, and you’ve got a hit news program!

In fact, it’s been ages since I’ve received one of those “Don’t open any e-mail message with the title ‘From Jesus’ because it’s a virus that will erase all the hard drives in your computer, in your house, on your block, and in your school district” types of messages.

That brings me to the title of this missive: Are viruses relevant?

Well, certainly they are. Anyone who’s silly enough to hook a Windows PC up to the Internet without a firewall will soon find their computer more infested than the bed sheets in a Bangkok whorehouse. The traditional e-mail attachment virus may not be as popular as it once was, but they’re still out there. And there are nasty things you can download from the Internet, though most of them are spyware and not really viruses.

So the question is, are the anti-virus tools working? Are people just more aware of the malware situation and not as silly about viruses? Or am I utterly off base here?


  1. I think it has to do with scope. Viruses can be a major problem…but they’re usually relegated to private, home computers with users with crappy browsing habits. Or if a company hasn’t kept up its IT as it should (as I was dealing with yesterday with one of my clients) then several of their computers can become infected. But it’s not a nation-wide, show-stopping event anymore–because a lot of the computers that matter (business computers) are more or less well protected.

    Comment by jamh51 — January 7, 2009 @ 11:45 am

  2. I also think it’s less of a plum for the bad guys. Back in the day, there was a certain notoriety that came with propagating a virus. I guess that the bad guys have moved on, though I could be wrong.

    Comment by admin — January 7, 2009 @ 1:05 pm

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