Sweating In the Hot Zone
Source: Fast Company - Posted by Pax Dickinson   
Security Imagine what life would be like if your product were never finished, if your work were never done, if your market shifted 30 times a day. The computer-virus hunters at Symantec don't have to imagine.

Patrick Martin opens a door marked "Response Lab" and enters what looks like a typical computer room, full of tall black racks, blinking lights, industrious system administrators, and the wash of white noise generated by whirring computer fans and intense air-conditioning.

But this room, located in an office complex in Santa Monica, California, nowhere near the beach, is no benign, garden-variety data center. It may be the nastiest, scariest room in the computer industry. It's where Symantec Corp. tests out every update to its antivirus software to make sure it will block newly discovered security threats. To do that testing, Symantec not only needs copies of all the software the company produces for every sort of computer, but it also needs a sample of nearly every virus, Trojan horse, and worm--nearly 200,000 of them--that has ever crawled across the Internet.

What the Plum Island Animal Disease Center is to virulent pathogens, Symantec's Response Lab is to computer viruses. The software update being tested today for eventual distribution will protect Symantec customers from a new variant of the W32.Sober mass-mailer worm, which travels by email attachment and sends itself to all of the people listed in the recipient's address book. It has been labeled a category-three threat (five is the highest).

Read this full article at Fast Company

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