European broadband providers will be forced to spend more than €282m (£188m) during 2004 and 2005 as they struggle to deal with worm and virus attacks, new research has claimed.
The study from IT security firm Sandvine found that, although worms are usually associated with attacks on corporate networks, the internet traffic they generate creates havoc on internet service provider (ISP) networks.
This adds substantially to the cost to ISPs, resulting in thousands to millions of pounds' worth of unplanned network and customer support costs. During 2004 Sandvine estimated that in the UK alone such costs amounted to €22.4m.
Such costs cover special response teams, the effect on customer support resources, inflated transit costs and the loss of brand equity.
Sandvine predicted that worm attacks will cost the European service provider sector more than €123m in 2004 and €159m in 2005.
Tom Donnelly, co-founder and vice president of marketing and sales at Sandvine, said in a statement: "Worms exact a massive toll by forcing service providers to mobilise premium resources in order to quell attacks and protect the subscriber experience."
In addition to the onerous cost of large-scale attacks, Sandvine said it has discovered another type of expensive worm activity: persistent, low-level attack traffic caused by remnants of previous worms that tenaciously cling to residential subscriber PCs.
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