Update: How Anti-virus Companies Are Making Things Worse
Fridrik Skulason, founder of anti-virus maker FRISK, has fired off a broadside about a problem I looked at in recent postings and my last Dow Jones column (sorry, subscribers only…): that some anti-virus companies are partly to blame for the recent e-mail flood generated by the Sobig.F worm. In an open letter, he wrote: “What I am referring to is the large number of incorrectly configured mail filters that respond by sending a “virus alert” to the ?From:? address. As Sobig.F falsifies the ?From:? address, these e-mails just clutter up the mailboxes of innocent, non-infected people. These messages cause unnecessary annoyance and worry, as they typically (and incorrectly) claim that people have sent out a virus.”
He concludes: “I have only one word for this: Stupid!” Exactly. I believe this is a sign that many anti-virus manufacturers have not kept up with the developments of the past year, when viruses have become smarter. These companies should recognise this and either close their doors or wise up. It’s not acceptable to add this extra layer of trouble, especially if they’re charging for it. I’m going to start publishing names of the companies involved. Submissions welcome. This kind of thing makes me cranky.