The US Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT) has kicked of an initiative to create common names for internet worms and threats.
Common Malware Enumeration (CME) aims to reduce confusion with the public caused by disparate naming schemes for internet threats.
A recent worm that used a known vulnerability in the Windows operating system, for instance, was referred to as W32.Zotob.E by Symantec, W32/IRCbot.worm!MS05-039 by McAfee and WORM_RBOT.CBQ by Trend Micro.
Internet worms are often named using information about the virus or a description entered by the author when crafting the malware. The new scheme will use a sequential CME number, beginning with CME-1.
A similar naming system already exists for security vulnerabilities in software, which uses a Common Vulnerability and Exposure identifier that includes a sequential number and the year in which it was identified.
The worm naming initiative will not include the date because users incorrectly rely on this information and could take an 'old' vulnerability less seriously.
While using the names provided through the programme is optional, the creators hope that it will improve communication and information sharing between antivirus vendors and the larger security community.
The programme is limited to internet worms, and excludes spyware, but US-CERT said that it could be expanded over time.
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