The amount of new malicious software, or “malware,” unleashed on the internet during the first three months of this year hit six million programs, according to a report last week by McAfee, the computer antivirus maker. “It’s been a busy start to 2011 for cybercriminals,” Vincent Weafer, senior vice president of McAfee Labs, said in a statement.
A 2009 study by computer antivirus maker McAfee and SAIC, a technology security firm, estimated that computer crime cost companies $1 trillion across the globe, but analysts say the actual total is sure to be higher as computer security breaches are underreported.
“I think all the service providers are victims of this type of issue, it’s just whether the company has a public interface to warn users of this type of problem is the big question,” Andrew Lih, author and professor at the University of Southern California, told CNN.
“Google has been pretty good at being forthcoming in having this kind of dialogue with its users,” Lih said. “It’s very possible to probable that these other service providers, from Yahoo to Microsoft to any of these other ones, have had these types of attacks, it’s just that Google has been very public in trying to combat this.”