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While the number of vulnerabilities found in software essentially has stabilized, the flaws are increasingly easy to exploit—and more often than not, quite severe—according to a new report released on Monday.

Furthermore, as bad as the vulnerability problem is, the virus plague currently tormenting Internet users may well be worse. In the second half of 2003, there were 250 percent more new Windows viruses discovered than in the same period in 2002, the report shows. A total of 1,702 new Win32 viruses were found in the last six months of the year. Worms, however, beat out their virus cousins as the most common source of attack activity, according to the Internet Security Threat Report, released by Symantec Corp…

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