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AutoCAD Viruses Reappear After 4 Years of Dormant Existence

Viruses attacking computers running the designing software 'AutoCAD' have lately reemerged, prompting an online security watcher to call upon the industry to do more to block such outbreaks. Reportedly, in July 2009, one AutoCAD virus appeared, with a second one following in early August this year.

Security specialists said - the malware could mean danger, given that security of AutoCAD doesn't often appear in the news.

In the recent weeks, Paul Baccas, Senior Threat Researcher of Sophos, detected two different PC viruses designed to attack AutoCAD, as reported by TheRegister on August 13, 2009.

Of the viruses detected, Baccas identified one as 'AL/Utax-A' that tries to develop fresh users, an indication that the authors of the malware are acting maliciously, Baccas said. Conversely, the other pest comparatively newer and dubbed 'AL/Logo-A' causes great annoyance. An analysis, yet to be finished, suggests that 'Al/Logo-A' places its copy on AutoCAD files, but without changing or erasing any data.

According to Baccas, the second virus propagates via a coding file named 'acad.vlx' that is sent out when AutoCAD users exchange their designs. Having installed itself on a computer, the virus becomes active whenever AutoCAD is run. While other AutoCAD viruses were also discovered back in 2005, they mostly have remained inactive.

Baccas states that the revival of the viruses is short-lived, yet it underscores an extremely real security flaw within AutoCAD and other software, which rely on user-generated content for automate recurring jobs. However, to diminish the threat, Microsoft has already made considerable modifications to its program Office 2007 and many other makers of software are yet to act similarly.

According to reports, developers of AutoCAD are designing high quality versions that are more secure. Senior communications manager 'Noah Cole' at Autodesk said that the future AutoCAD version would enable scripts to be loaded more safely and reliably, as reported by TheRegister on August 13, 2009.

This suggests that various kinds of viruses are troubling the industry as never before, said experts. Recently, Symantec said that it would be releasing 2.5 Million virus signatures for 120 Million e-threats for 2009, an increase from 1,500 signatures issued during 2000.

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