OTHERS

New software to delete computer virus

MARS ATTACK in the information age does not come from Spielbergian characters, but from tiny, invisible bits.

When these vicious bits attack without notice, the IT world shrugs and millions of dollars vanish into thin air.

The bits come again and again as stealth bombers, busting the fortunes of computer users, corporates and global business houses.

We are taking about computer viruses, the new age enemy that stalks almost everybody in the wired world.

There are solutions, but the problem is it happens only after the attacker licks clean even the ruins. What if somebody warns about an attempted intrusion?

NetMailshar 2.7, by PPP Infotech in Chennai, performs this. In a concept called ``generic virus protection,'' the software package, which in fact is a product that allows multiple users in a computer network to share e-mail, scans all incoming e-mails for invisible scripts and malicious commands.

According to Mr. Parameshwar Babu, the designer of the programme, almost all viruses now enter the computers as invisible commands through e- mail.

The programme in netMailshar (www.netmailshar.com) will detect them and delete them instantly or notify them, while traditional virus scanners look for the virus.

In the first case, as the software looks out for the generic form, even variants of an existing virus will be detected whereas in the latter, one has to update the software to scan a variant. Often, the update comes only after the damage.

Another advantage, according to Mr. Babu, is that the software need not be loaded into every PC in a network as is done with regular virus scanners. Here, the product will protect the entire network.

This utility of netMailshar is powered by a content scanning engine called ``Venus Valley''. This component of the product could be used by administrators to filter out malicious content, unwanted mails and Spam,`` says Mr.Babu. Launched recently, the product like its predecessors from PPP, has hit the markets in several countries.

If the user wants to use conventional scanners too, netMailshar has no problems. It also works as a good team member.

But when there are so many virus scanners, why such a product? ``Prevention is always better than cure,'' answers Mr. Babu. Virus prevention means prevention of losses by the zillions.

The anti-virus market in the country still depends a great deal on imported protection software, though some domestic companies offer competing solutions.

Some of the web-based mail providers like Hotmail have scanning of mails installed as a routine feature, which helps the user before making a download. Netmailshar offers to provide similar protection on an advanced scale, for any mail.

By G. Pramod Kumar

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