Viruses Reach Record High For Year

Virus activity hit another peak in June, according to VIA NET.WORKS UK, a provider of managed Internet services for business. Statistics from VIA revealed that both the density of virus-infected e-mails and the number of new viruses reached record highs for the year last month.

The proportion of virus-infected e-mails in circulation to small-to-medium sized enterprise (SME) customers using VIA’s e-mail anti-virus services rose dramatically to one in every 120 during June 2003, compared to one in 420 in May. The number of new viruses increased from 24 in May to 35 this month – the highest number of new viruses detected in a month this year.

“The surge in numbers of new viruses and virus infected e-mails represent an increasing burden for SME businesses,” said Keith Westcott, MD, VIA NET.WORKS UK. “SMEs without sufficient internal IT resources can be caught out in the round-the-clock fight against viruses. Last month, the speed at which new variations of Bugbear and other viruses were circulating had virus protection vendors issuing updates and emergency patches at rates of up to four a day.”

Through its Managed E-mail Anti-Virus Service, VIA has been tracking the proportion of virus-infected e-mails that have been sent and received by its SME customers. The most commonly encountered virus in June was Bugbear-B, a new virus developed from Bugbear-A, which was first detected last October. VIA advises businesses to regularly update their security systems against potential new threats to ensure they have the best possible protection.

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