The day after three London hospitals[1] were hit by a virus/viruses (Mytob[7]) and they had to halt their entire computer systems for 24 hours, Microsoft announced [2] that it will be offering its antivirus suit (all-in-one security and PC management service) Live OneCare from next year for free under the name Morro. Initial criticism[4] and analysis[5] of Microsoft's move has made its rounds on the internet with some agreeing and some disagreeing. In the end the results will show.

Trusted security packages should be commonly found on personal and coorporate computers. When learning[6] that roughly 30 million Windows PC machines were/are infected with a fake antivirus software (e.g., Antivirus Pro 2009) that tricks customers into paying for a service and situation the malware created in the first place, is a joke. If we are then to feed into the equation the reports that ‘UK identities sold for £80 online’[3] and take into consideration the many problems that companies and governments are having with securing our information we can conclude that we should be extremely cautious with our PCs and information.

I think viruses at some point in time will rule the world. Even for a few seconds, they will provide their master with complete access to what ever his or her heart desires. How this power will be exercised no one will know. Yet we all dread it. Yes I have thought of the diversity in operating systems that will make this case nearly implausible, yet I have a compelling feeling that we are getting close to online world virus domination.

Links Used:
[1] BBC News, Computer virus affects hospitals - http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/london/7735502.stm

[2] BBC News, Microsoft to offer free security- http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/7737520.stm

[3] BBC News,UK identities sold for £80 online - http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7732569.stm

[4] Ars Technica, Symantec and Kaspersky on OneCare's death: good riddance - http://arstechnica.com/journals/microsoft.ars/2008/11/20/symantec-and-kaspersky-on-onecares-death-good-riddance

[5] Securityfocus, Microsoft hopes free security means less malware - http://www.securityfocus.com/news/11538?ref=rss

[6] TheRegister, Scammers making '$15m a month' on fake antivirus - http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/10/16/fake_av_scam/

[7] ComputerWeekly, Mytob virus spreads in hospitals - http://www.computerweekly.com/Articles/2008/11/20/233497/mytob-virus-spreads-in-hospitals.htm