“The Cyber Secure Institute claims that based on their previous studies into the average cost of such malware attacks, the economic loss due to the Conficker worm could be as high as $9.1 billion,” Dancho Danchev reports for ZDNet.

“In the past, there have been numerous attempts to estimate the cost of malware, from mi2g’s $157 billion and $192 billion worldwide loss in 2004 due to malware infections, followed by Computer Economics study stating that In 2006, direct damages fell to $13.3 billion, from $14.2 billion in 2005, and $17.5 billion in 2004. The huge difference of the estimates is due to the different variables taken into consideration by the two companies,” Danchev reports.

“In a perfect world all affected parties would be sharing information on the actual infection rate and the costs due to the worm’s infection, thereby confirming that their enterprises have been compromised and potentially ruining business relations for the sake of contributing to the quality of such global studies,” Danchev reports. “In the real world, a Conficker infected international company would try to stay beneath the radar if it can, just as the average Internet user would continue getting exploited through one/two years old client side vulnerabilities, a paradox that’s driving cybercrime globally.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: US$9.1 billion would buy the Laurens, Giampaolos, Lisas, and Jacksons, not to mention the IT doofuses of the world, at full retail no less:
• 2,758,411 Mac Pros (8-Core, $3299); or
• 3,251,161 MacBook Pros (17-inch, $2799); or
• 3,641,456 Mac Pros (Quad-Core, $2499); or
• 4,552,276 MacBook Pros (15-inch, $1999); or
• 5,058,365 MacBook Airs ($1799); or
• 6,070,713 iMacs (24-inch, $1499); or
• 7,005,388 MacBooks (aluminum unibody, $1299); or
• 7,589,658 iMacs (20-inch, $1199); or
• 9,109,109 MacBooks (white polycarbonate, $999); or
• 15,191,986 Mac minis ($599)

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers “Fred Mertz” and “Edward W.” for the heads up.]