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Sobig Damage Estimated at $5.59 Billion

The Sobig worm caused an estimated $5.6 billion in damages worldwide so far, according to mi2g, a U.K.-based security firm that estimates damages from malware.

The mi2g estimate includes all variants of Sobig from the initial version earlier this year to the Sobig.F variant that struck on Aug. 19 and became the fastest spreading worm yet, according to anti-virus firms.

While damage estimates are highly subjective, part of the value of the estimates from mi2g is that the firm consistently estimates damages, allowing comparisons between major outbreaks. In that context, Klez remains the most damaging malware with a running total of $13.9 billion. Love Bug is No. 2 at $8.6 billion and Yaha is third at $6.3 billion.

Damage for the MSBlast worm is estimated by mi2g at $525 million. MSBlast struck about a day before Sobig.F and exploited a juicy DCOM RPC flaw in Windows that Microsoft had been desperately urging users to patch for about a month.

The Sobig worm required users to click on an attachment to be launched, although the flood of spam-like e-mail from spoofed addresses hit even networks whose users had done nothing to encourage the worm. The MSBlast worm, on the other hand, automatically exploited a flaw on unpatched Windows systems attached to the Internet, requiring no user action to strike.

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.