2009 might truly be the year of the virus — both in the real world and in the virtual world.

The swine flu/H1N1 virus has caused widespread fears across theworld and has pretty much been a fixture of every newscast over thelast few weeks. Of course, all of this came on the heels of the heavilyhyped Conficker virus, which was supposed to shut down the Internet orsomething along those lines.

Now, the next big virus might have reared its ugly head in the formof something called Gumblar, which has managed to garner some seriousattention in IT security circles.

If you haven’t heard of it by now, the attack apparently spreadsthrough the Web via malicious JavaScript code. A victim can be infectedwith Gumblar simply by visiting a page featuring this malicious code.

According to security researchers, once a PC is successfullyGumblared (a fake word that I just made up), the malware will redirectthe infected users’ Google search engine results to point to malwareand phishing sites. The malicious code will also scour its victims’system for FTP credentials that can be used to infect more Web siteswith Gumblar.

So basically this new virus is a tool that will hopefully dupeinfected users toward other serious viruses. Pretty crafty thinking,but not something we should be panicking over like we all did withConficker.

Why not, you ask? I think the results of this Google Fight speak for itself.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada
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