The Car and Truck Fleet and Leasing Management Magazine

Spread of Mydoom Virus Highlights Poor Levels of Fleet Protection

February 9, 2004

With the spread of the Mydoom and Mydoom.B viruses over the past few weeks the lack of virus protection among fleets has been highlighted, according to a report from Chevin Fleet Solutions on February 6. Mydoom is widely acknowledged to be the most virulent virus ever, infecting up to one in 12 of all e-mails sent last week, thus few organisation have escaped it altogether. The virus spreads as an e-mail attachment and if opened, copies itself to other e-mail addresses. It also potentially allows unauthorized remote access to the infected machine. Fleet software publisher Chevin Fleet Solutions found that less than half of all fleets have adequate virus protection in place to protect their computer networks — with some having none at all. "However, there is a huge difference between those fleets who have adequate virus protection in place and those that don't. The former will have solved the problem in a matter of hours, the latter may have yet find a solution," said Ashley Sowerby, managing director for Chevin. "There are two main problems with a virus like Mydoom. First, it leaves networks vulnerable to external attack, meaning that a malicious hacker can steal, corrupt or delete valuable data or even bring the whole system down. Second, the same problem can be potentially spread to contacts though e-mail communication — which can be bad news for customers and suppliers.” Problems are not limited to smaller organizations that are less likely to have any form of virus protection in place or ensure that it is kept updated. Larger companies are also at risk — even though IT support may be well resourced and financed and virus protection taken seriously, the sheer volume of e-mail and Internet data they deal with also makes the risk of infection high. Therefore in addition to having anti-virus software in place, a strong corporate policy on e-mail and Internet use is essential. Sowerby added, "seemingly harmless e-mails, like spreadsheets or jokes that employees may share with friends, can help viruses like Mydoom spread at an alarming rate. We often visit fleets where problems like this are common. It’s simply a matter of putting policies in place to ensure that e-mail and the Internet are used carefully and sensibly." Consequently, an organization with up-to-date virus protection software and strong corporate guidelines on e-mail and Internet use will cope better with virus attacks and minimize the risk to its business.
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