Opinion

Malware naming – a never ending story

Last week there was some coverage about a new P2P worm, which is highly polymorphic and infects other files.

Many antivirus vendors detected this piece of malware as Polipos, and this name has been widely used.

But should the worm really be called this?

The body of the worm contains the following text:

Win32.Polipos v1.2 by Joseph

Calling this piece of malware Polipos, which most antivirus vendors are doing, raises an ethical dilemma.

On the one hand, there’s a high degree of uniformity.

Changing the name could lead to a situation similar to that with Nyxem/Blackworm/CME-24; no one wants to see that naming confusion repeated.

On the other hand, there’s a serious ethical dilemma: One of the antivirus industry’s unwritten rules is that malware should never be called by the name the author intended.

We’ve therefore decided to rename this worm from Polipos to Polip, and I hope that other antivirus vendors will follow suit.

Malware naming – a never ending story

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