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Worm_Grew.A Threat, Hype, or Dud?

WORM_GREW.A: Threat, Hype, or Dud?

The Worm_Grew.A Virus Got Allot Of Attention
The 3rd has come and gone. What has been the real effect or impact of the “WORM_GREW.A (Also know as Nyxem, BlackMal, MyWife, and so on)” virus? For weeks there has been tons of warnings, in the news, print, e-zines, you name the forum and it has been a discussion topic. Current information indicates that the WORM_GREW.A virus has not caused mass destruction as promised or suspected. I’m sure some of those 600,000 or so suspected infected computers were impacted, but who really knows at this point.

Viruses Can Impact You In Various Ways
There is one thing I do know however; Even if the BlackMal virus has not done as much physical damage as predicted, it has done a good deal of indirect damage. Think about how much time corporate technical people have spent preparing for the possibilities, making sure their enterprise anti-virus solution is functioning properly, the time devoted to discussing and planning for disaster recovery in the event a direct impact is realized. What about all the home and small business people stressed about the doom looming over their computers head in the form of a “possible” destructive and wide spread infection.

How Do You Know If Your Business Is Protected Against Viruses
A business associate of mine recently worked on a project in which he performed a complete infrastructure upgrade for a document / information heavy business. During the upgrade, he found that the anti-virus solution they were using was not functioning properly, had not updated its virus signatures for eight months, and on top of this, their very expensive tape backup solution had not been working for about as long. The customer kept changing the tapes, but they were blank. Just imagine what would have happened if they had not had this upgrade done, and an effective anti-virus and tape backup solution put back in place. If they had contracted this virus it could have not only shut them down for a period of time, it very well may have cost them huge financial losses or worse.

Virus Threat, Hype, or Somewhere in Between
Do I think this particular virus scare is a product of a real threat, fueled by hype, or a dud? Quite frankly I think it has been a little of all three. The threat was / is definitely real, the hype was all over the media and other information outlets, and as far as being a dud, if you analyze it using the equation threat+hype= impact, maybe.

I think what really has set this virus apart from recent malware / threats, is its destructive capabilities. Many malware developers have moved away from creating destructive worms and viruses in favor of creating cash generating malware. There’s no money in it for them if they just blow up your system.

It’s quite interesting, the parallel between how we deal with threats and risks in our personal lives, and that of the technology world. Many of us only prepare for a negative or damaging event shortly before the event takes place. That is if we have been warned with time to prepare. The bottom line is we can never let our guard down. Consistency, persistence, awareness, and preparedness need to be in the forefront of our minds.

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About the Author: About The Author
Darren Miller is an Information Security Consultant with over seventeen years experience. He has written many technology & security articles, some of which have been published in nationally circulated magazines & periodicals. If you would like to contact Darren you can e-mail him at If you would like to know more about computer security please visit us at

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