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2002 Big Year for Computer Viruses

Techstination feature for Thursday, December 26, 2002

A year full of threats... to your computer. Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. When it comes to computer viruses, this has been either a very bad year... or a pretty good year... depending on your point of view. Bad if your PC has been infected and you've lost valuable data. Good, if you're one of the companies that makes anti-virus and security software. David Loomstein is group product manager at Symantec security response...

"Well we have seen an increase this year. As a matter of fact total viruses are up about 32 percent from last year. The big threats this year were the Klez virus, Bugbear and Nimda."

And the problem is, it isn't just that there are more viruses...

"Viruses are getting more complex and smarter. They're doing more. They're finding more clever ways to replicate themselves and once they've replicated themselves, they're hiding themselves better and finding better ways to create more havoc on systems. So, for example, what they're doing is they're sending themselves out, they're sending out confidential information and they're also now shutting down important procedures such as virus repair programs."

So far, Symantec and other anti-virus program makers such as McAfee have been able keep up with the threats. But that only works if computer users keep virus definitions up to date. You can take a risk and try to do without anti-virus software on your PC. Fortunately for Symantec, McAfee and other anti-virus software makers, more computer users are opting for protection. Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred Fishkin.