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Are Viruses Still a Threat to Cybersecurity

03.08.2023
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During the past decade, viruses like Slammer, CodeRed, and MyDoom gained notoriety for their devastating impact on computer systems. MyDoom, in particular, held the title of the fastest-spreading email virus and remarkably continued to persist even fifteen years after its initial deployment. However, the threat posed by viruses has significantly diminished in recent times.

The cybersecurity landscape has witnessed significant changes, with new forms of malware emerging as major threats. While viruses once reigned supreme in the world of cybercrime, their prominence has dwindled. Technological advancements, combined with the rise of more sophisticated malware, have shifted the focus of cybersecurity professionals towards addressing other pressing concerns. Nevertheless, it is essential to recognise that viruses are not entirely obsolete and can still be employed in targeted attacks.

The decline of viruses as a formidable threat can be attributed to the ever-evolving landscape of cybersecurity technology. Modern antivirus programs have made substantial progress since the early 2000s, boasting higher detection rates, additional features, and improved overall performance. With viruses being relatively simplistic and compact programs that require a host for replication, their ability to develop sophisticated abilities is limited.

Moreover, many viruses follow repetitive patterns, making them familiar territory for antivirus software, which can swiftly neutralise them. The real concern now lies in more sophisticated forms of malware, such as ransomware, spyware, and Trojan horses, which are specifically designed to evade antivirus detection and wreak havoc on digital systems, thus the topic - how relevant are antiviruses nowadays.

Though viruses may no longer be at the forefront of cybersecurity concerns, they have not disappeared entirely. Despite their relatively basic nature, viruses can still find utility in targeted attacks. The case of the MyDoom virus, discovered being used in a phishing email campaign in 2019, serves as a reminder that these seemingly archaic threats can still cause significant damage.

Malware, in general, has become a global issue, with cybersecurity teams detecting an astonishing 560,000 new pieces of malware every day, amounting to nearly 17 million new pieces each month. This alarming surge indicates an 87 percent increase in malware attacks over the past decade.

Despite viruses taking a backseat, their existence in the cybercrime landscape should not be underestimated. To stay protected, individuals and organisations must remain vigilant, embrace hide VPN services and employ robust cybersecurity measures to defend against all forms of digital threats.