McAfee Web map tracks virus attacks

ITworld.com |  Development

Network Associates Inc.'s McAfee.com Corp. on Wednesday boosted global virus intelligence
by adding a real-time "virus map" to its Web site. The map claims to
allow users to view global virus trends, anticipate virus outbreaks and alert
computer users to any virus epidemic.

The data for the map is compiled from McAfee.com's virus scanning service,
which tracks thousands of computers worldwide for virus activity. Any incidences
of virus infection are added to the global virus map in real time. The map contains
information about the types of viruses that have affected each region, and the
number of computers infected.

So far, McAfee.com claims to have scanned more than 39 billion files in the
computers of 780,000 subscribers worldwide of McAfee's scanning service. The
vendor has found 18 million infected files. Twenty percent of the computers
scanned have been infected by a virus. The results of a virus scan are added
only after a user's consent, said McAfee.

The VBS/LoveLetter e-mail virus was at the top of the list, with 1,423,777
incidences found in the last 30 days. The ASPtrojan.qa virus, a trojan that
steals America Online Inc. passwords, followed with 292,794 incidences. The
medium-risk Internet worm, W95/MTX.gen, was third, with 134,227 infections in
the past 30 days.

The map also allows users to track virus trends by region.

According to the map, California and Washington are the two U.S. states with
the highest rate of virus incidence, with between 10,001 and 100,000 infected
computers. In Europe, the countries with the highest incidence of virus infection
are the U.K. and Germany, while Saudi Arabia ranks first in Asia.

McAfee claims this service was instrumental in alerting users to the spread
of the ASPtrojan.qa virus. Earlier this month, McAfee issued a warning about
the AOL virus.

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