RealNews

Viruses open can of worms for ISPs: Study

Worms — computer viruses that replicate themselves across networks and can crash networks with the sheer volume of their activity — propagate most readily on residential networks, and will eat as much as $245-million (U.S.) from the profits of North American Internet service providers in 2004, a new networking study says. Worms Gobbling Broadband Profits, a white paper prepared by Sandvine Inc., a maker of networking products, said that on any given day, a “ghost army” of Internet worms is bleeding profits from service providers. About 5 per cent of residential subscribers are infected by some kind of worm and are either actively propagating it or generating malicious traffic every day. The white paper pointed at residential users as a major part of the problem. “Home users represent the weakest, most uncontrolled point in the Internet and, with current worm mitigation tools, are almost impossible to protect en masse,” the white paper stated. Full Story

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