RealNews

First known 64-bit virus threat found

Security technology company Symantec reported Thursday that it has analyzed what it believes to be the first known threat to 64-bit Windows systems, a virus labeled W64.Rugrat.3344. Representatives at the Cupertino, Calif.-based company were quick to point out that the threat was merely a so-called proof-of-concept virus–a worm developed by someone to show that vulnerabilities are present in a particular type of system–and not a virus already spreading in the wild. However, Oliver Friedrichs, senior manager of Symantec’s Security Response Team, said W64.Rugrat.3344 can attack 64-bit Microsoft Windows files successfully. He said the virus does not infect 32-bit files and will not run on 32-bit Windows systems. Since 64-bit systems have yet to proliferate widely, Symantec maintains that the virus does not yet represent a serious threat. “We always see early adopters trying to find a way to attack new technology right away, as we did with 32-bit, so it’s not surprising to see this,” Friedrichs said. “But we do expect to see more of these, as 64-bit technology becomes more prominent.” The 64-bit market is expected to grow rapidly. By the end of next year, most Intel chips, will be 64-bit capable, and virtually all of rival Advanced Micro Devices’ processors will be 64-bit chips. Full Story

OODA Analyst

OODA Analyst

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