What you didn't get for Christmas: viruses

As many businesses were closed between Christmas and New Year, viruses could have struck as offices went back online this morning. Nothing has happened so far, however.

"There was absolutely no outbreak of viruses this morning. We did not get any problem reports at all from Europe or Asia. I expect it to stay quiet," said Marius van Oers, virus research engineer at McAfee, a division of Network Associates.

Looking back, Van Oers said this year's holiday season is much like last year's. It was predicted that the date changeover to 2000 would entice virus makers to create programs that would execute midnight on December 31, 1999. Like this season, silence ruled.

McAfee was one of the antivirus vendors that warned against holiday virus appearances this year. The company issued a news release late December saying over 1000 users had been affected by "holiday-oriented viruses." McAfee "cautioned" that several of the viruses were designed to hide and then affect computers on or around Christmas day.

"You can see this as a proactive warning, the chance of anything actually happening is pretty slim. If we don't put out warnings and a virus does hit our customers will be indignant," Van Oers said.

The US National Infrastructure Protection Center (NIPC) on December 29 warned against distributed denial of service (DDOS) attacks. This kind of attack can paralyse a Web site by flooding the server with information requests.

"There were no DDOS attacks either," Van Oers said, adding that it was expected there would be more DDOS attacks than virus trouble.

DDOS attacks are staged with the use of many computers connected to the Internet. Hackers hijack computers by sending a Trojan horse program. Antivirus software can intercept such programs.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Joris Evers

PC World
Show Comments

Essentials

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?