Jan 21 2009

Media hype going up; vendor hype going down

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A new headline at PC Magazine calls the Downadup worm an “epidemic.” Other news outlets have latched onto the story with similar weasel words and trigger phrases. If you take the “growing exponentially” claims at face value, then throw away your PC right now because we’re doomed. Experts predict this worm will infect at least 8.7 billion PCs by Sunday.

The antivirus firm behind the hype is now offering prizes to people who test their new product. “Wow, that’s really cool!” F-Secure doesn’t want all that global media exposure to go to waste, you know…

(“One computer for every dollar the ILoveYou virus cost, eh Rob?” Exactly! You’re catching on.)

In other words, I may have been mistaken in yesterday’s “died on the vine” comment. The media has waited a very long time to orgasm over a virus story and I once again wonder if they can hold back their ecstasy…

…Except there’s a tiny little problem. The antivirus vendors just don’t seem interested in it!

Take Symantec, for example — they actually lowered their ThreatCon status today from “2″ (elevated) to “1″ (normal). Kaspersky Labs still describes Downadup as a “moderate risk.” Neither McAfee nor Trend Micro has updated their alert pages. SANS continues to show a “green” Internet threat level. About.com virus expert Mary Landesman tackled a different subject in today’s column.

Symantec LOWERED their ThreatCon status as hysteria builds up over the Downadup worm

Symantec lowered their ThreatCon status today as media hype continued to build over the Downadup worm

And F-Secure…

Hmmm, F-Secure. You know, I don’t think F-Secure will like the rest of my column.

F-Secure — the antivirus firm behind the “nine million” estimate — announced they released a “Removal Tool” for the Downadup worm. Oh, and be sure to check out their new beta security product! “Feedback enrolls users into prize giveaways,” F-Secure bragged. “We recently received another batch of our very popular laptop stickers, so as a bonus, we’ll pass along a stack to Tomi [from the Customer Involvement Team].”

Waitaminit. Laptop stickers?!? Pardon me while I say “wow, that’s really cool!”

Folks, the press wants us to believe there’s a global “epidemic.” So what does F-Secure do with all the media attention they whipped up? Why, they turn it into an opportunity to recruit beta testers for a new product!

{sniff} Do I smell something familiar? Or did I just forget to the flush the toilet?

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  • By GsparkyNo Gravatar, 22 January 2009 @ 5:53 pm

    Yup. Thought I heard a smackdown.

    I was right.

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