Weapons of Mass Destruction Found in the Middle East

Dennis Faas's picture

Destructive viruses that no longer affect most of the world are still lingering in the Middle East, according to one of the world's leading antivirus vendor, Symantec.

The ancient Nimda, Jeefo and Redlof viruses are still wreaking havoc in the region because the majority of computers there lack critical security and anti-virus patches. The Nimda virus, considered a worldwide threat in 2001, is the second most common virus in the Middle East despite no longer being listed in the top ten anywhere else.

Richard Archdeacon, a director at Symantec, believes that these viruses "are not particularly serious" but they could be "used to spread more dangerous ones." (Source: itp.net)

However, antivirus company Trend Micro takes these threats more seriously:

The Virus Encyclopedia on Trend Micro's Web site lists "high" damage potential for several variations of Redlof. Jeefo is classified as a milder threat, ranking at "medium." And Nimda is more unpredictable, with some strains being given a "high" damage rating while others are considered "low" risk. (Source: trendmicro.com)

Archdeacon's solution is an all-too-obvious one: "There's still a lot of patching which has to be done." (Source: itp.net)

What is really needed is education.

Computer users in the Middle East must be taught the benefits of downloading and installing important security and virus updates. It's a lesson the rest of the world would be wise to remember too.

What Can You Do to Protect Yourself?

The most effective approach to ensure your computer protected against email worms, Trojans, and similar exploits is to update your PC regularly by visiting the Windows Update Web Site and by installing the latest Service Pack. For Windows XP, the current Service Pack is version 2.

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