America Online Blocks More Than One Billion Virus-Infected Emails in Past Year

DULLES, Va., May 14, 2004 – America Online, Inc.

Average AOL Member Protected from Roughly 30 Virus Attacks On Their Computer – or One Virus Attack Every Ten Days

Automatic E-mail Screening and Premium Anti-Virus Services Offered Through Partnership with McAfeeAmerica Online, the world’s leading interactive services company, announced today that it has blocked more than a billion virus attachments from reaching its members since it launched automatic e-mail attachment screening and premium anti-virus protection roughly a year ago. Since the anti-virus services were launched, AOL has protected each of its members from an average of 30 different virus attacks, or an attack every ten days.

“As we move into a high-speed world, anti-virus protection becomes even more critical because a basic broadband connection can leave you defenseless against hackers and virus attacks on your home computer,” said Tatiana Gau, Chief Trust Officer and Senior Vice President for Integrity Assurance for America Online. “With automatic anti-virus screening, a customized firewall, award-winning Parental Controls, aggressive spam blocking, and new AOL Spyware Protection, AOL makes it easy for members to help protect their families and their sensitive personal information. Nothing is more important than peace of mind, and AOL will continue to provide members with a suite of security solutions that helps keep them safe online, no matter what connection they’re using.”

Last April, at no additional charge to AOL members, America Online began automatically scanning all incoming and outgoing attachments to members’ e-mail each day for known viruses through the use of McAfee(R) VirusScan(R). If a virus is detected, the attachment is automatically cleaned of the virus, or, if the virus cannot be fixed or quarantined, the e-mail is returned without the infected attachment to the original sender with a notice that their attachment contained a virus.

The virus definitions are regularly updated and provided by the McAfee AVERT(TM) (Anti-virus and Vulnerability Emergency Response Team), whose virus and malware definition database protects against users against over 90,000 known viruses and other malware, and McAfee AVERT identifies an additional 300 new viruses per month.

In conjunction with Network Associates, AOL also launched McAfee(R) VirusScan(R) Online brought to you by AOL last spring, a premium anti-virus service that not only scans e-mail but also offers comprehensive, PC-based protection for a member’s entire machine, guarding against existing viruses on the PC, CD or floppy disk-based infections, hostile web page scripts, and other potential online and offline threats. The premium service also includes automatic updates with the latest virus protection software to ensure protection from known viruses, especially during virus outbreaks. McAfee VirusScan Online brought to you by AOL is available to members for an additional $2.95 per month. For more details, visit AOL Keyword: VirusScan.

During the peak of the Sobig.f outbreak in August 2003, AOL hit a record high of viruses blocked in a single day — 24 million in just 24 hours. Sobig.f also led the list of the five most pervasive viruses over the last year, followed by Mydoom, Netsky.a, Netsky.d and Swen.

According to a study released last year by the National Cyber Security Alliance, many PCs are vulnerable to cyber assailants. Nearly two-thirds of the broadband households analyzed in the study (62%) did not have recently updated anti-virus protection.

About America Online, Inc.
America Online, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Time Warner Inc. Based in Dulles, Virginia, America Online is the world’s leader in interactive services, Web brands, Internet technologies and e-commerce services.

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