The total bill for the Conficker worm outbreak could reach as much as $9.1bn according to one cyber security analysis group.
The Cyber Security Institute claims that depending on the number of infections worldwide (with estimates ranging from 200,000 to as many as 10million), the total cost of the Conficker worm, also known as Downadup or Kido, to governments, businesses and individuals could reach as much as $9.1bn (£6.2bn).
The figure, based on estimates from previous virus outbreaks, factors in wasted time, resources, energy as well as the direct cost of countermeasures, such as antivirus software, used to battle the worm. The estimate does not include what the group described as “lost opportunity” costs – the hit to productivity the worm caused, keeping people from working on other projects.
Rob Housman, executive director of the Cyber Secure Institute, said in a statement that it was important to look at the ‘totality’ of the Conficker problem, and that it showed the ongoing vulnerabilities in IT systems and networks.
He said: “Whether or not Conficker turns out to be a sales tool for bogus Ukrainian security software or something much more destructive, the simple fact is that the Conficker worm has infected vast amounts of computers around the world.”