Flamer is a sophisticated viral toolkit that remained undetected for nearly 2 years, and was recently exposed to become a high profile media topic.
Should the average web design client be concerned? Most likely not.
The primary targets being infected are not individuals or small business owners but sophisticated networks, and more specifically computers in the Palestinian West Bank, Hungary, Iran, and Lebanon. Some reports indicate smaller outbreaks elsewhere.
The apparent purpose of the virus is cyber warfare to disrupt Middle East threats to worldwide interests.
File types being infected include documents, graphics, and CAD or Computer Aided Design drawings. One component of the sophisticated Flamer Virus controls the spreading mechanism via USB sticks. Another will erase the digital trail needed to track down the source.
The best antivirus advice for web design clients to protect their computer systems is keep their programs, operating system, and antivirus software patched and updated real time. The Norton Security flamer graphic illustrating this post is similar to one received today via email from Norton to assure its users that their computers were secure against the Flamer threat.
Most advanced antivirus protection software costs less than $100 a year. If not already using a top brand, my advice to web design clients is investing in one today and keeping it up to date.
Your website or computer may not be the target of Flamer, yet 1000′s of other hackers are actively trying to get around security software for malicious reasons that do require prevention. Avoid identity theft. Protect your accounts and passwords. Use common sense before following links from unfamiliar sources.
Finally, besides protecting your web design content from hackers, avoid losing data from a hard drive crash and install some form of automatic file backup system. A redundant copy to store off-site in case of fire or natural disaster could be a lifesaver for your business, as well.