Anti-virus makers are marketing through fear

Earlier this week, a new computer virus, XF.Yagnuul.A, triggered a large amount of coverage in the technical and general press worldwide, and was reported as a danger by several anti-virus vendors. The virus has gained a great deal of attention due to the virus writers attempting to use the upcoming World Cup to trick computer users into downloading the virus.

BitDefender Labs has identified Yagnuul.A as a low-profile virus that has a very small chance of spreading or doing any real damage to computers. Without the link to the World Cup, this virus would only be one of the hundreds of new malware variants found each month that the average user never hears of and is not something that requires consumers to take extra precautions to avoid.

BitDefender believes that the publicity that has been given to this virus is unwarranted and is the result of many anti-virus vendors continuing to use fear tactics to market their products.

“Understanding what a dangerous virus is really should not be as hard as Brazil winning a sixth World Cup,” commented Bogdan Dumitru, BitDefender’s chief technology officer. “There is absolutely no reason why this poorly written virus should be getting the attention it is. There really has to come a point when the anti-virus industry has to stop trying to make people afraid of every new malware variant. It is counter productive and is quickly causing people to simply ignore malware warnings altogether. Attention should be given instead to well-written malware that has real potential to do damage.”

About AF.Yagnuul.A
Yagnuul.A is a basic file infecting virus that is spread via an Excel file and is disguised as a way to set up fantasy leagues and a charting of teams participating in the upcoming World Cup. The virus copies its formulas in all open documents and copies the file that contains it to a file named “LuuNgaydd-mm-yyyy…”.

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