One costly worm

The worldwide labour costs associated with cleaning up the Code Red worm and its variants totalled more than US$2 billion as of August – and are rising, according to one research firm tracking the menace.

With an estimated 760,000 computers infected, Carlsbad, Calif.-based research firm Computer Economics Inc. estimates labour costs to date associated with repairing corrupted systems at US$1.29 billion, with another US$716 million consumed by lost productivity among affected users, IT support and help desk staffs.

Code Red and Code Red II, a more virulent sequel worm that began attacking systems worldwide in early August, exploit a known hole in Microsoft Corp.’s Internet Information Server (IIS) software. A patch for the vulnerability has been available since mid-June.

Code Red’s final cost is unlikely to eclipse the US$8.7 billion price tag Computer Economics hung on damage attributable to the Love Bug, a virus that swept through the IT landscape last year, he said.

Computer Economics came up with its estimates by studying various news reports and expert analyses to determine a “consensus” figure for the number of computers and servers affected worldwide, Erbschloe said. The firm then lined that number up against its previously collected benchmarking data to determine an average per-server clean-up cost (ranging from US$300 to more than $1,000, according to Erbschloe). Those figures, combined, led the company to its US$2.05 billion “total economic impact worldwide” statistic.

Would you recommend this article?


Thanks for taking the time to let us know what you think of this article!
We'd love to hear your opinion about this or any other story you read in our publication.

Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

Featured Download

Related Tech News

Tech Jobs

Our experienced team of journalists and bloggers bring you engaging in-depth interviews, videos and content targeted to IT professionals and line-of-business executives.

Tech Companies Hiring Right Now