Sophos warns early adopters of Windows XP against security complacency

October 26, 2001 Sophos Press Release

Sophos, a world leader in corporate anti-virus protection, is urging computer users not to treat Windows XP as a way of leaving the current virus threat behind.

"The fact that there are no XP-specific viruses in the wild seems to be leading people to the incorrect assumption that XP will render them immune to virus attack, at least for a while," warns Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos Anti-Virus. "Viruses don't just target specific operating systems - they infect them all. Users shouldn't be lulled into a false sense of security by treating Windows XP as some kind of implicit anti-virus measure."

Cluley adds that although XP-specific viruses are inevitable, this is not really Microsoft's fault. Viruses exist for a wide range of platforms, including Macintosh, Unix, OS/2 and even IBM mainframes. Vulnerability to viruses is a natural side-effect of an operating system which is useable in the real world.

"Virus writers seem to have got off lightly in the past, with Microsoft copping a lot of the blame on their behalf. This is like blaming bricklayers for the graffiti which gets sprayed all over the walls they build," continued Cluley.

The latest version of Sophos Anti-Virus works with Windows XP, and is available for download from here.