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Sandvine: Worms to cost ISPs $370 million in 2004
Wednesday 03 March 2004 09:24:00 by Sebastien Lahtinen

Sandvine, the company that develops network analysis and filtering products has authored a white paper which claims that service providers worldwide are going to bear a cost of USD 370 million during this year as a result of Internet worm attacks which hit residential subscribers.

"The quickening pace of worm attacks makes understanding their impact on service providers increasingly urgent. [..] Worms exact a massive toll by forcing service providers to mobilise premium resources in order to quell attacks and protect the subscriber experience. Uncovering the true costs and inefficiencies that worms impose on the broadband sector is crucial if we’re going to identify appropriate solutions."

Tom Donnelly (co-founder and VP, marketing and sales), Sandvine Inc.

The amount quoted includes the necessary responsive action to support customers who are infected, the transit costs of additional Internet traffic and the damage to reputation that this will cause resulting in customer churn. The report also re-iterates that this problem is not restricted to any particular size of ISPs and that helpdesk/support is over three quarters of the total cost of the problem. Residential users are thought to be a greater risk because there is no central control over security over their computers.

Key findings of the report include:

  • On any given day, between 2 and 12 per cent of all Internet traffic moving across service provider networks is malicious. Even on well-run networks with dedicated security departments, malicious traffic constitutes, on average, 5 per cent of all data throughput.
  • On any given day, approximately 5 per cent of the residential subscriber base is infected by some kind of worm and either actively propagating it or generating malicious traffic.
  • This year, worm attacks large and small will cost a typical 100K-subscriber service provider almost $60,000 in avoidable transit fees. A one million-sub provider will pay an additional $350,000.

You can download "Worms gobbling broadband profits: The financial impact of attack traffic on service provider networks" from here (registration required). [seb]


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