While the world continue to suffers those dreaded computer viruses, Anti-virus companies are reporting big jump in their earnings. A weekly computer magazine recently reports - "A major anti virus company benefits from virus threats - As one of the world's largest anti-virus software maker said net income for the quarter ended March 31, 2004 is expected to be $29 million on sales of $126 million (or over US$500 million per year)..." So I guess in relative terms, virus writers could be the real stake holders of the Anti-virus Industry! Humm.... I often wondered, do these virus writers purchase public shares of these listed (publicly traded) companies?
New viruses - they are hot and bad:
According to report, of the most reported viruses - the "winner" goes to Netsky! More then 90% of all virus detected.
"It's bad, it's bad, I know it's bad" - MJ
Computer virus attacks are up dramatically from 2,000 (two thousand) in 1995 to close to 60,000 (sixty thousand) in 2002. And in 2003, seven new computer viruses were unleashed every day. By the end of the year, another 2,600 viruses had been added to others already in the wild..
Now the new viruses and worm is said to have affected more than one million systems. Also, America Online says that it's blocked more than 1 billion virus-infected e-mails since launching a screening program in April 2003.
The Sassar worm attack had costed business worldwide as much as $500m - and that's during it's first 2 weeks of after its introduction (popped up on May Day 2004), according to an Economics Consulting Firm.
Computer worms will cost European ISPs an estimated $123million in 2004, according to some study conducted by research company. Although worms are usually associated with attacks on corporate networks, the malicious traffic also ties up service provider networks, degrading the broadband experience for home Internet users. Meanwhile, outbreaks of computer worms generate a huge upsurge in support calls to ISPs. On any given day, between five and 12 per cent of all Internet traffic moving across European ISP networks is malicious, according to the study. These estimates cover the cost of specialised tactical response teams, swamping of customer support resources, inflated transit costs and perhaps most damaging over the long term, a loss of brand equity that aggravates the industry-wide problem of customer churn.
Some good news:
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) arrested a teenager on Wednesday on suspicion of creating a worm that could be used to create an army of zombie. May 2004, Vancouver, Canada.
A Taiwanese computer engineer was arrested for allegedly designing a virus and putting it on Web sites. May 2004, TAIPEI, Taiwan.
A recent (May 2004) article from Slate wrote about the economics of executing computer hackers. Read on... I agree with the author.