Anti-malware applications and spam filters are now routinely used by nearly all businesses. Yet digital garbage may still be pouring into employees’ machines from an unsuspected source: RSS and Atom feeds.

 Both feed formats automatically deliver updated news and other types of Web information directly to subscribers’ readers and aggregators. But feeds can also be used by hackers to surreptitiously transfer viruses, Trojan horses, worms and various other types of malware. That’s because feed suppliers often scoop up content automatically without giving thought to the code’s safety. As a result, data — both good and bad — is transferred directly to subscribers’ computers.

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