Malware and phishing cost US users $7 billion in two years

Posted by   Virus Bulletin on   Aug 8, 2007

Survey finds 1 in 4 risk of being hit by viruses, spyware and scams.

US consumer watchdog Consumer Reports has unveiled its annual 'State of the Net' study, showing serious numbers being affected by viruses, spyware and online scams.

The survey of over 2,000 US households found that 38% had been hit by a virus in the last two years, while 34% had suffered a spyware infection in the past six months alone. This corresponded with 33% not using any form of anti-spyware software, and while many were running some kind of firewall, the researchers projected 3.7 million households across the US were not. 8% of the respondents admitted being tricked into revealing personal information by phishing emails, losing an average of $200 per incident.

The study also projects that over 2.5 million users had opted to replace their entire computers after suffering virus or spyware infections, adding a significant contribution to the estimate of $7 billion in costs to home users arising directly from malware and phishing incidents, based on average costs of $100 per malware incident and the $200 associated with each successful phish.

A press release with details of the survey results is here, and more information at the Consumer Reports site is here and here. The full report is in their September issue, available to subscribers only.

Posted on 08 August 2007 by Virus Bulletin



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