McAfee Web map tracks virus attacks

ITworld.com –

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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