Probability of a catastrophic malware attack rises from 2.5% to 30%

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London, UK - 2 June 2004, 11:30 GMT - May was the fifth worst month on record in terms of malware proliferation - virus, worm and trojan attacks - and is estimated to have caused between $16.2bn and $19.8bn of economic damage worldwide, largely because of the Sasser outbreak and other associated variants according to the mi2g Intelligence Unit, the world leader in digital risk. The probability of a catastrophic malware attack, defined as global damages in excess of $100bn from a chain of combined events, has risen from 1 in 40 (2.5%) for 2003 to about 3 in 10 (30%) for 2004.

The May figures for manual and semi-automated hacking attacks - 18,847 - against online servers worldwide show signs of stabilisation in comparison to each of the three previous months. At present rates, the projected number of overt digital attacks carried out by hackers against online servers in 2004 will be only 2% up on the previous year and would stand at around 220,000. If this trend continues, it will mark the slowest growth rate for manual and semi-automated hacking attacks against online servers according to records that date back to 1995. This confirms that the dominant threat to the global digital eco-system is coming from malware as opposed to direct hacking attacks.


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