A Virus by Any Other Name: Virus Naming Practices

by Costin Riau
Sept. 24, 2017 0 comments Symantec name virus

When the "VBS/VBSWG.J" virus appeared, the media decided to call it by a more appealing name, "AnnaKournikova", which was derived from the JPEG file that the virus claimed to be. However, none of the anti-virus products included in the excellent virus names cross reference tool VGrep currently lists this virus as "AnnaKournikova", "Kournikova", or any other variation based on the name of the charismatic tennis player. On the other hand, a considerable number of AV programs detect it as "SST", while a very small number don’t call it "VBSWG" or "SST". One virus, so many names. Why? Why didn't the media call it "SST" in the first place? Why aren't all AV products detecting it as "VBSWG"? And why aren't all the AV products at least referring to it by a single name. These are all questions this article intends to cover.