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April 16, 1997updated 05 Sep 2016 12:46pm


By CBR Staff Writer

Despite the well-publicized efforts of the anti-virus software detection brigade, the rate of computer virus infection in corporate America nearly tripled overt the last year, according to a survey carried out by the National Computer Security Association, with electronic mail now emerging as one of the leading methods of transmitting viruses. Out of 300 survey respondents, representing 700,000 desktops and 24,000 servers, the infection rate was found to be about 33 of 1,000 machines infected in any given month, and 406 of 1,000 machines infected in a given year. In the 1996 survey, the chances of experiencing a virus was about 10 out of every 1,000 machines per month. The most common virus encountered by far was Word.Concept, which caused almost half of the infections reported. Another macro virus infecting Word documents, Wazzu, was responsible for about one fifth of all infections. The survey found that 45% of the most recent infections began either with a download (19%) or through an electronic mail attachment (26%). The use of anti- virus software increased from 60% of the machines surveyed in 1996 to 73% in 1997. The survey was funded by 12 companies active in the virus detection industry, including Microsoft Corp. The NCSA and Microsoft launched a joint MacroVirus Protection Initiative last month to provide information and support to anti- virus vendors attempting to detect and eliminate macro viruses in Microsoft products.

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