Security Companies Offer Free Information Tools

Symantec and F-Secure have announced pages designed to provide users with an at-a-glance overview of the state of Internet security.

 By Michael Hall
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Two network security companies have released informational tools for end users this week. One offers a "state of the 'net" overview presented as a "threat meter," while another offers a map of the spread of specific malware outbreaks.

Symantec announced the Symantec Internet Threat Meter on Tuesday. The service provides an overview of "the risk level associated with specific online activities," including Web surfing, e-mail, instant messaging and file sharing. A three-level status for each includes information about specific outbreaks along with basic information about the sort of threats each activity can present.

Similar to Symantec's offering is the longer-standing SANS Internet Storm Center, which has been in operation since 2001.

Anti-virus company F-Secure, recently the victim of a bogus e-mail campaign designed to spread a computer virus announced later in the week that it is providing public access to a world map tracking the progress of virus outbreaks.

The primary map provides a global overview, with additional maps providing regional data. A ten point scale provides an "alert level" for overall virus activity, and a simple table provides lists of the top virus outbreaks, families and variants. Additional maps offer information for previous months and years.

The F-Secure map is available in English, French, German, and Finnish.

This article was originally published on Mar 5, 2006
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