Thursday, November 24, 2005

What’s The Big Deal?

In many cases, when a virus writer releases a new creation into the wild, the virus can be difficult to stop. Even if the writer intends no harm, some worms are powerful enough to halt activity on entire networks. For example, Carnegie Mellon’s CERT Coordination Center received the first confirmed reports of the Melissa macro virus on Friday, March 26, 1999. By Monday, March 29, the virus had affected more than 100,000 computers. According to CERT, one organization received 32,000 email messages containing Melissa within 45 minutes.
McAfee’s AVERT (Anti-Virus Emergency Response Team) reports that more than 62,000 virus threats exist today and virus writers create roughly 200 new viruses every month. Some of these viruses cause enough turmoil to result in substantial financial losses around the globe. Computer Economics, an independent research firm, estimates that in 2001, the Code Red worm and its variants had a worldwide economic impact that cost $2.62 billion, Sircam cost $1.15 billion, and Nimda cost $635 million.

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