Week in Security: Avril Virus, Acquisitions, Risk Report

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Here's a rundown of some of the events, announcements and other happenings in information security last week:

•Antivirus vendors warned of a mass-mailing worm named after teen-age "skater-punk" singer Avril Lavigne that tries to disable antivirus programs. In addition to spreading through e-mail, the worm spreads through ICQ, Kazaa and mIRC.

•Network Associates said it acquired antispam startup Deersoft, San Mateo, Calif. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Santa Clara, Calif.-based Network Associates said the acquisition was the first in a series in spam and content filtering technologies it plans to make. The vendor said it will deliver Deersoft's antispam technology at the gateway, e-mail server and desktop for enterprise customers.

•Finjan Software, Los Gatos, Calif., said it acquired Dallas-based Alchemedia Technologies, a provider of digital-rights management software to the automotive, energy, pharmaceutical, aerospace, financial services and government markets.

•Internet Security Systems' X-Force released its fourth-quarter Internet Risk Summary Report. The X-Force reported tracking 101 hybrid threats and computer worms in the fourth-quarter, making a total of 494 for the year. The team noted several trends in the new threats, including massive distribution capabilities, longer life spans, and a focus on more critical systems. The X-Force said it detected 347 new vulnerabilities in commercial software and 291 vulnerabilities in open-source software, with the most common flaw involving buffer overflows.

•Blue Coat Systems, Sunnyvale, Calif., and Websense, San Diego, announced a partnership to distribute Websense's URL filtering database on Blue Coat's Web security appliance platform. The integrated solution is scheduled for release in the spring.

•Microsoft released an add-on to its Internet Security and Acceleration (ISA) Server 2000 designed to provide stronger protection for its Exchange and Internet Information Services (IIS) customers.

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