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April 2003

Computer threats gaining momentum in 2002, survey says

Overall, 2002 was a quiet year on the malware front. When the SQL Slammer worm struck in January 2003, it had been more than 16 months since a major malware outbreak on the scale of LoveLetter, Code Red or Nimda.  Still, according to the annual ICSA Labs Virus Prevalence Survey, overall perception of the malware problem is getting worse, as are the effects of virus infections. Released last month, the survey shows the rate of virus encounters remained relatively flat, rising to 105 per 1,000 machines per month, compared to 103 in 2001 (see Figure 1). Virus encounters may have remained constant, but enterprises' attitude toward the problem has not. Inundated with a persistent stream of new and recirculating viruses and worms, nearly three-quarters of the 306 respondents say the virus problem is getting worse, especially in terms of money and resources spent to combat and recover from infections. Viruses have plagued enterprises since the nascent days of microcomputing and the Internet. Ever since Robert Morris shocked the world ...

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