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16 March 2007, 12:08

Kasperskys worry about malware and hit out at Microsoft

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Speaking at CeBIT in Hanover, Russian specialist Eugene Kaspersky, founder of anti-virus vendor Kaspersky Lab has said that security software companies could lose the fight against rising internet crime. "If the growth in malware continues at its present rate, our entire industry may at some point no longer be able to hold back the tide," he said. The number of programs which attack computers via the internet increased 2.5 fold in 2006. He expects a similar rate of growth this year. "I would therefore like to see a kind of internet Interpol. Even the best security software will, on its own, soon no longer be sufficient," he stressed.

Malware developers have a number of advantages. "They are many and are scattered across the world independent of one another, whereas the flood of programs has to be held back by just a handful of companies. And for them, there are no frontiers with the internet." Internet criminals from Russia attack British banks, Brazilians set their sites on Spanish internet users - by contrast the security authorities operate largely within national borders.

Kaspersky is worried about the campaign to increase strongly the spread of internet capable PCs in emerging nations and third world countries. In poor countries in particular, the temptation to make money through internet crime is great. "At present almost no malware is coming from Africa. If Africa comes into the picture, the pressure will become even greater," warns Kaspersky.

Also at CeBIT, some security software vendors have criticised the security of Microsoft's new Windows Vista operating system. Natalya Kaspersky, head of Kaspersky Lab, today accused Microsoft of, in many cases, no longer providing makers of security software with direct access to the operating system. Security specialists Symantec and McAfee had both previously attacked the software giant's product policy. However, in November last year, Kaspersky contradicted Symantec and McAfee's claim that Microsoft would make integration of security products into Vista's kernel more difficult.

In Hanover, Microsoft rejected the new accusation. It had offered the anti-virus industry all necessary information on the Windows Vista interfaces. And Microsoft's own internal security package developers were given no head start. "They were treated the same as everyone else", explained a spokesperson. Windows Vista has been developed from the bottom up to be secure.

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