Overview of Virus Bulletin December 2003 Issue

The December issue of Virus Bulletin magazine starts with an editorial written by the magazine’s new Technical Editor Morton Swimmer. In his first commentary piece, Mr. Swimmer shares his thoughts on spam filtering and the need for information exchange between antivirus, IDS and anti-spam groups.

Virus analysis of the month, written by a couple of Trend Micro Philippines staffers, concentrates on W32/Smibag worm. This MSN Messenger propagating worm is decently covered and, as always, Virus Bulletin analysis provides a number of interesting facts on this piece of malware.

AV-Test.org’s Andreas Marx discusses the Sober worm, which, he notes, was a big problem for computer users in Germany. This was in fact because the worm’s subject and message body were written in German, rather in “plain-old” English, used by the majority of the other worms. As this is a feature article, it does not contain all the technical facts, but the author rather slides through the important details of this worm and takes a look at all the Sober removal tools.

The second feature of this issue is related to the latest Cyber Insecurity report, which concluded that the Microsoft’s dominance on the market represents a clear and present danger to the global stability of the Internet. This report also received a lot of media attention lately, when one of the co-authors got fired from a well known pro-Microsoft security company.

Irish freelancer Berni Dwan wrote an interesting opinion on the connection between artificial intelligence and viruses, where he references all the major events that were connected to this powerful combination.

By taking a look at the anti virus industry and the latest acquisitions, we can see that more and more AV companies are incorporating spam prevention to their software products. Virus Bulletin carries on with anti virus and anti spam combo, so from the November 2003 issue, their readers can enjoy a spam supplement located in the center of this 20 page publication.

This month’s supplement focuses around a feature written by Neil Schwartzman, editor of a popular spamNews publication. In a three page article, Neil talks about “Senders Permitted From” (SPF) designation protocol, which may be a solution for email borne viruses and spam. The Spam supplement closes with a nice summary of interesting topics discussed on the Anti-Spam Research Group (ASRG) mailing list in November.

The December issue of Virus Bulletin is concluded with a quite large product review of F-Prot Antivirus for Linux Mail Servers (version 4.3.1). The review is written in an easy to read manner, spreads over five pages and is accompanyied by several product usage screenshots.

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