Virus attacks to "peak next Monday"? Yeah, right

Filed Under: Malware

November 24 2008

PC Tools has been widely quoted in the press as predicting that next Monday (November 24) will see a peak in virus, spyware and other malware attacks.

How did PC Tools' boffins come up with this prediction? Well, they reckon that looking at last year's data they saw more attacks three days before American Thanksgiving holiday than any other day of the year. So, by their reckoning (I refrain from calling it science), Monday 24 November 2008 will be the worst day this year.

This isn't just drivel, it's dangerous drivel. The danger is that people will begin to think that they need to take computer security more seriously on one day rather than another. The truth is that you need to be security conscious on every day of the year.

The whole story reminds me of how another anti-virus company (ironically the same one which recently acquired PC Tools) warned of the possibility of 200,000 new viruses emerging on the 1st of January 2000.

Half-baked guesswork about if a day in the future might be a bad one for malware attacks has about as much science behind it as examining chicken entrails. It makes for a cute headline, but a harmful message.

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About the author

Graham Cluley is an award-winning security blogger, and veteran of the anti-virus industry having worked for a number of security companies since the early 1990s. Now an independent security analyst, he regularly makes media appearances and gives computer security presentations. Send Graham an email, subscribe to his updates on Facebook, follow him on Twitter and App.net, and circle him on Google Plus for regular updates.