Are viruses (and antivirus products) doomed to extinction? presented at Virus Bulletin 2007

by Joe Wells (Sunbelt software),

Tags: Security


Summary : "On a recent WildList, only 24 threats were either true viruses or non-static worms; compared to 768 static worms on
the same WildList. Therefore, the data shows that non-static threats (such as viruses and polymorphic worms) account
for only 3% of the threats reported on the WildList. Moreover, this total has diminished by 0.5% since I presented a
paper three months prior to the time of this writing. The data indicates that this already miniscule percentage is
steadily diminishing in relation to an ever increasing glut of static threats; including worms, trojans, spyware,
adware, etc.
The proposed paper maps virus extinction patterns over the past 15 years. It evidences the current downward trend of
traditional threats. At this point, viruses are already a comparatively negligible threat. We see a corresponding
shift among anti-virus product developers, who are moving towards blended solutions for today's blended threat. But,
in consideration of the complex nature of the threat, are established anti-virus product developers taking the right
approach to this radical shift in the evolution of computer security threats? Might their efforts result in more
problems, doing their users a major disservice? And are traditional anti-virus products still a viable solution for
today's and tomorrow's security threats?