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05 Oct 2005

Sophos joins drive to cure virus-naming confusion

Mark Harris
Mark Harris, director of SophosLabs.

Sophos, a world leader in protecting businesses against viruses, spyware and spam, has today announced that it has joined the editorial board for the Common Malware Enumeration (CME) initiative, an industry group whose aim is to provide unique, common identifiers to new malware threats.

In the past, computer users and system administrators around the world have faced difficulties identifying threats attacking their systems, as anti-virus vendors rely on different virus-naming conventions to refer to particular threats. The CME initiative aims to mitigate this confusion, by providing a common name for high profile threats that can then be used in vendor products or their websites.

As part of an alliance of global security vendors, Sophos will play a pivotal role in helping CME apply common identifiers to newly discovered malware threats. For every virus identified by CME, Sophos will display the CME reference in its extensive database of virus analyses here.

"Historically, regulating virus naming has proven difficult for security vendors, because of the need to issue threat protection as quickly as possible to customers," said Mark Harris, director of SophosLabs™, Sophos's network of virus and spam research centers. "We encourage more anti-virus vendors to participate in this initiative, which will benefit customers involved in securing their computers from malware attack without disrupting the serious work of rapid virus analysis and protection."

Through the CME initiative being sponsored by the United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT), a division of US Department of Homeland Security that coordinates response to cyber attacks, computer users and security administrators across the globe will benefit.

"The participation of global security companies is critical to the success of this initiative," said Desiree Beck, Technical lead for the CME initiative. "Their expertise will help bring the CME concept to maturity and ensure that it meets the needs of the security community."

CME has already begun its work by applying identifiers to a series of known threats in the format of CME-N, where N is a series of numerical digits. More information on the CME initiative can be found here.

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.

Sophos is headquartered in Boston, US and Oxford, UK. More information is available at