Tuesday, March 31, 2009

April Fools' Emails May Contain Not So Funny Virus

/PRNewswire / -- For the past two years, April Fools' Day has brought technology turmoil to millions of computer users across the globe. On April 1st, 2007, the ANI worm spread around the globe using an exploit found in Windows, while last year the Storm worm spread voraciously in email messages that were sent using an April Fools' theme. In a preemptive strike against any threats this April Fools' Day, network security provider Stonesoft advises computer users to be extra cautious when opening April Fools' messages.

April Fools' Day is known to be a time when new data security threats arise and old ones are reactivated. This year, there has been much discussion around the expected update of the Conficker network worm, which is said to be the worst in the virus history. However, it is yet to be seen what sort of damage an update would incur.

"The reason data security threats emerge around April Fools' Day is quite understandable," says Olli-Pekka Niemi, a vulnerability expert at Stonesoft. "The same thing happens around most public holidays or, for example, Valentine's Day. Even if people receive email messages from unknown addresses, they tend to open the greetings more easily in hope for a juicy April Fools' joke."

As it is impossible to forecast the timing or severity of network security threats, Niemi emphasizes the importance of prevention: "The most important thing is to remember the basics. Make sure all programs are up-to-date, especially your security programs. In addition, common sense takes you far. Avoid surfing unknown sites and opening messages or attachments from unknown addresses," Niemi reminds. "It may be common knowledge to most Internet users, but as we've seen over the years, people need to be reminded about the basics from time to time."

For more information on Stonesoft's network security solutions and insight into current computer security threats, please visit www.stonesoft.com.

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