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.zip files putting the zap on antivirus products

More and more virus writers are hiding malware in zipped files. E-mail users who were slow to update their antivirus software last week may have been surprised to receive a flood of e-mail messages containing .zip files from long-lost acquaintances, business partners and complete strangers. The e-mail was sent by the recent Mydoom e-mail worm. The zipped attachments were evidence of what antivirus experts say is a new trend in virus-writing circles: using compressed files to hide viruses and elude detection by antivirus engines. Such files are containers for one or more compact files. Using programs such as WinZip for Windows or Unzip for Unix, users compressed files they want to store or transfer to others. The files must then be decompressed, or “unzipped,” before they can be viewed. Long a staple of Internet and office communications, the .zip file has become embroiled in an arms race between virus writers and antivirus technology companies, experts said. Full Story

OODA Analyst

OODA Analyst

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