Truth About Computer Security Hysteria
Let's hold a contest (at mi2g's expense)
Wednesday, 10 March 2004
"THE COMBINED ECONOMIC damage to date from Bagle, MyDoom and NetSky [computer viruses] has now crossed $100bn worldwide," mi2g trumpeted in a new press release. According to the New York City comptroller's official report, it would take two years before the World Trade Center attack could equal what a couple of computer viruses did in less than three months.
Let's hold a contest! We'll see who can come closest to mi2g's grand total for virus damages at the end of 2004.
But that's only if you take mi2g's claims at face value. Click here to learn why you shouldn't.
mi2g's latest claim forces me to ask an obvious question. "How much more damage will we see by the end of the year?" Will we crest the quarter-trillion dollar mark? Will we lose more than a half-trillion dollars to viruses in The Year Of The
I honestly can't predict how much monetary damage viruses will cause this year. I used to be able to foretell the future — but I ruined it when I drilled three holes in my crystal ball. (I thought it'd give me a better grip on the future. Silly me.) Your guess is as good as mi2gmine.
So let's hold a contest! We'll see who can come closest to mi2g's grand total for virus damages at the end of 2004. Send your absurd predictions to email@example.com.
Update: we've already got some great entries for our contest! Keep 'em coming, folks...
- Rod Fewster (Antivirus Australia):
- "$186 billion more than Bill Gates has hidden in a sock under his bed."
- Jon Clayton:
- "$sexxxy billion."
- "$30,577 billion = $30.5 trillion which is the number you get when you total up the 2000 GNP of the top 26 countries in the world. Seems like a logical number."
- Peter Holme:
- "$801.5 billion."
- Aryeh Goretsky:
- "One novemquinquagtrillion dollars. That's 10180 dollars, by the way. Current estimates for the number of atoms in the universe seem to range from 1078 to 1081. P.S. If the award for the contest winner is their guess, I'd like mine in two-dollar bills. Thank you."
- Kevin K. Erdmann:
- "$786 billion."
- Jason MacGregor:
- "$0.00 billion. How can they possibly estimate it?"
- Scott Evans:
- "It's clear from experts' predictions of doom that a suitably large [number] does not yet exist, certainly something beyond the magnitude of a googolplex USD. We'll need all the imaginative help we can get from our mathematicians and futurists to get a grasp on this difficult problem!"
- John Hoyle:
- "For maximum publicity it is obvious the number must exceed one trillion euro. Ergo, it must be $1,430,378,221,946.02 dollars with the expected exchange rate at the end of the year."
- Andrew Olpin:
- "I believe viruses will cause 16 septillion googleplex dollars of damage this year. This estimate is based on the fact it would look good on the front of a Symantec Anti-Virus package in the store."
- C. Stapley:
- "362 billion dollars."
- Brian Jordan:
- "The dollar amount in damages will range so high that mi2g will claim there is no number that large and declare that this will trigger cyber-terrorism events that will end civilization. Mi2g will also frantically talk of setting up a personal firewall to hold off the cyber-terrorists, but it won't hold them at bay for long, so a declaration is made that all computer firewalls programs be rated in number of hours before the terrorist are able to break through. Then they will produce a white paper 500 pages long that explains how physical firewalls for rooms in office buildings are rated in this way."