Security has remained high on the agenda throughout the IT recession, and the year has seen some major steps forward, and a few steps back.
The year started with news of a worm that was going to make life difficult for systems administrators all year. MyDoom was detected in the wild in January, and the next month launched a denial of service attack against Microsoft.
There was more trouble for the company the following month when the FBI was called in to investigate a suspected theft of code. Sadly, there was no sign of Gillian Anderson lookalikes gracing the Seattle campus.
It was handbags at dawn at the beginning of March when two virus writing gangs went head to head over the world's IT systems. MyDoom, Bagel and Netsky continued to be a problem throughout the year.
The men and women of the National High Tech Crime Unit had a notable success in April with the arrest of a British phisher. The international investigation was a sign that the world's police are getting much better at working together to track and bring down online criminals. There was further success for the unit in May, when 12 suspects were arrested.
May also saw the arrival of the Sasser worm. German teenager Sven Jaschan unleashed the code that went round the world in minutes and brought down such august names as Goldman Sachs. He was dobbed in by his mates after Microsoft offered a quarter of a million dollar reward.
In June the predictions finally came true, when the first mobile phone virus was created. Thought to be the work of Russian virus group 29a the proof of concept code carried no harmful payload and spread via Bluetooth. Although it didn't really take off there was a small outbreak in Singapore.
Microsoft was dealt a blow in July when US government security body Cert recommended not using Internet Explorer because of poor security. Quite a few people tried the open source alternative Firefox, so much so that Microsoft's share of the browser market fell below 90 per cent for the first time in years.
After much hype and many delays Windows XP Service Pack 2 was released to manufacturers in August. It took another month before consumers could benefit from its improvements in security, but Microsoft did break a longstanding company rule and give the code away on magazine cover disks. But it was such a major revision that analysts believed that it wouldn't be installed in most companies until next year.
September saw a first in the security world when someone asked for a job via a virus. The response from the security industry was firmly negative, occasionally two lettered, and the police may have requested his CV.
Microsoft released its largest security update of the year in October, with 21 flaws fixed. All in all, however, the software giant has released fewer updates this year than last but this may have been down to releasing monthly updates.
And as the year ends we can only hope that Norad doesn't blow Santa away.
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