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17 Oct 2001

Anthrax: Anti-virus companies hype up non-threat


A number of customers have contacted Sophos technical support concerned by media reports of a new computer virus called "Anthrax" or "Antrax".

Sophos Anti-Virus has been capable of detecting the virus, known as VBS/VBSWG-2B, generically for some months and we do not believe it presents a threat to our customer base.

VBS/VBSWG-2B has been written using a version of the virus construction kit known as the Visual Basic Script Worm Generator. A different version of the same construction kit was used by the author of the Anna Kournikova worm. Because Sophos Anti-Virus researchers have analysed the construction kit, customers are automatically protected against viruses created using the kit, even before they have been analysed in our laboratory.

"It is disappointing to see some of our competitors hyping up a virus like this, particularly in the current political climate," said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant for Sophos Anti-Virus. "Anti-virus companies should act responsibly when it comes to virus alerts. Sadly, on this occasion, it's possible that the only thing which will spread is greater confusion and panic amongst the public."

About Sophos

More than 100 million users in 150 countries rely on Sophos as the best protection against complex threats and data loss. Sophos is committed to providing complete security solutions that are simple to deploy, manage, and use and that deliver the industry's lowest total cost of ownership. Sophos offers award-winning encryption, endpoint security, web, email, mobile and network security solutions backed by SophosLabs - a global network of threat intelligence centers.

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