CA Releases Free Antivirus Software for Home Users

BOSTON (05/30/2000) - Computer Associates International Inc. (CA) is making free antivirus software available today to home PC users.

Mail Watcher and eTrust Content Inspection Personal Edition can be downloaded as of noon EDT today at, said Simon Perry, CA vice president of security solutions, in a press conference today.

The two products are designed to be proactive rather than reactive, detecting new viruses so that home users don't need to update antivirus software every time a new threat surfaces, Perry said.

"There is no longer the requirement to update the virus signature every time a VBS virus comes out," Perry said, referring to the recent spate of viruses and worms that use Microsoft Corp.'s Visual Basic Script software developers' tool to attack computers. Although the software does not eliminate the need to periodically update antivirus software, it will detect commonly used malicious code to the extent that new viruses and worms following common patterns will be found without updates, he said.

The eTrust product protects users against the file types most commonly used by virus writers, he said. It scans all of a user's e-mail, including scanning attachments before they are opened. It further blocks all VBS attachments. It will allow executable files to run, but it will block any that attempt to attach to a computer hard drive, he said.

Mail Watcher scans mail for "actions commonly used to virus writers," Perry said, adding that "e-mail today is the leading source of malicious code." Mail Watcher alerts users when suspicious e-mail is detected.

Recent viruses and worms, including the ILOVEYOU worm, have affected millions of users worldwide, including home PCs, with the worldwide cost of that particular worm estimated at US$6.7 billion, Perry noted.

CA, in Islandia, New York, can be reached at +1-631-342-5224 or

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