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February 24, 2005


New anti- virus solution from BT looks for new and unknown behaviour to stop potentially devastating e-mail viruses in their tracks

Researchers at BT have developed a monitoring tool that identifies viruses carried by e-mail which have, as yet, remained undetectable by existing anti-virus systems.

The tool, VENUS (which stands for Viral Email Network Utilization Symptomizer) monitors the intranet email for symptoms of any new and unknown viruses that have penetrated normal anti-virus defences by identifying previously unknown behaviour, and then proactively prevents their spread within the company.

Furthermore, once VENUS detects that a computer is infected, it will automatically prevent the user from sending further e-mails, until the root cause has been identified and fixed.

VENUS performs most of these functions without the need for any human intervention, and works across all types of e-mail servers. It was developed by leading software security experts at BT, whose world-class security techniques are helping to arm businesses everywhere against any potential malicious attack to their valuable data.

While e-mail affords a popular and widespread means of communication in business today, such viruses have the power to spread voraciously throughout organisations with devastating – and often costly – consequences. And any company that fails to make the best effort to protect its data carried by e-mail may face a harsh penalty. One example, during 2001, saw two computer viruses called Nimda and Goner, carried by employees’ e-mail use, inflict combined damage estimated to be over $12 billion (Source: Network Associates Technology, Inc., 2001) to global business.

Mike Carr, director, research and venturing, BT, said: “We believe VENUS to be unique in its ability to detect dangerous viruses that infiltrate e-mail systems, stopping them dead in their tracks. Until now, software designed to detect and remove viruses could still let new viruses through, because it would look only for the effects of known viruses – and as such, by its very nature, could not spot any behaviour that was previously unknown. In response, VENUS spells good news for business by radically countering the spread of viruses by e-mail, and reducing the likelihood of the associated cost that comes with such disruption. While there’s no way to predict when viruses will strike, as a leading player in the IT security industry, BT is striving to ensure that companies across the UK have access to security tools of this kind to protect the important data upon which their success depends.”


About BT Group
BT is one of the world’s leading providers of communications solutions serving customers in Europe, the Americas and Asia Pacific. Its principal activities include IT and networking services, local, national and international telecommunications services, and higher-value broadband and internet products and services.

BT consists principally of three lines of business:
· BT Retail, providing fixed and mobile communications services and solutions and IT and networking services to more than 20 million business and residential customers in the UK. It is also a leading UK internet services provider.
· BT Wholesale, providing network services and solutions within the UK to more than 600 fixed and mobile operators and service providers including the provision of broadband, private circuits.
· BT Global Services, providing IT and networking services internationally to meet the needs of multi-site organisations with European operations. BT Global Services operates in more than 130 countries and also offers international carrier services.

In the year ended 31 March 2004, BT Group’s turnover was £18,519 million with profit before goodwill amortisation, exceptional items and taxation of £2,013 million.

BT Group plc is listed on stock exchanges in London and New York. British Telecommunications plc (BT) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of BT Group and encompasses virtually all businesses and assets of the BT Group.

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For further information:

David Pincott, Pirate Communications T: +44 (0) 20 7297 3352, Mob: 07861 261198

Kate Bonner, Pirate Communications, T: +44 (0) 20 7297 3356, Mob: 07812 351567

This press release was distributed by ResponseSource Press Release Wire on behalf of Pirate Communications in the following categories: Computing & Telecoms, for more information visit