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Virgin criticised for virus response

Simon Quicke

Virgin Media has been criticised for informing users that their PCs had become infected by a virus via letters rather than more immediate email.

The broadband provider has been proactive in telling 1,500 customers that they have been infected by the SpyEye trojan which steals bank log-in details but opted to send letters.

That choice of communication came in for some flak from those in the security industry all too aware that speed is of the essence in ensuring that the number of victims of a malicious attack does not spread.

"It is pleasing to see that Virgin Media is taking action and proactively notifying their customers of Virus's on their PC's, but interesting to note the means in which they did so. Sending letters to customers rather than emails seems to be an odd response to such a serious situation that could see customers bank accounts compromised," said Nigel Hawthorn, vice president marketing EMEA at Blue Coat Systems.

"With a malicious virus such as this, the user could be a victim at any time and the delay in sending and actioning a letter leaves them open to serious attack," he added.

Virgin Media was first alerted to the attack by the Serious Organised Crime Agency which advised it to issue the warnings to customers.



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