Worms To Cost ISPs $245 Million In 2004

Waterloo, Ontario based research firm Sandvine Incorporated has just released a study featuring research that shows how Internet Service Providers handle the almost daily attacks from worms and viruses.

Though worms are usually associated with attacks on corporate networks, the malicious, malformed data traffic they generate is also wreaking havoc on service provider networks, degrading the broadband experience for home Internet users and imposing anywhere from thousands to millions in unplanned network and customer support costs directly related to thwarting attacks.

Working from metrics derived from customers and selected industry sources, Sandvine has calculated that worm attacks – small and large – will cost the North American service provider sector as much as $245 million in 2004.

$245 million includes the cost of specialised tactical response teams, swamping of customer support resources, inflated transit costs and perhaps most damaging over the long term, a loss of brand equity that aggravates the industry-wide problem of customer churn.

“The quickening pace of worm attacks makes understanding their impact on service providers increasingly urgent,” said Tom Donnelly, co-founder and VP, marketing and sales of Sandvine Incorporated. “Worms exact a massive toll by forcing service providers to mobilise premium resources in order to quell attacks and protect the subscriber experience. Uncovering the true costs and inefficiencies that worms impose on the broadband sector is crucial if we’re going to identify appropriate solutions.”

In addition to the onerous cost of large-scale attacks, Sandvine researchers have discovered another type of expensive worm activity: persistent, low-level attack traffic caused by remnants of previous worms that tenaciously cling-on to residential subscriber PCs. Cumulatively, worms of both magnitudes are now an operational preoccupation for network managers and a worrisome drag on ISP profit margins.

For more on the study, download Sandvine’s white paper “Worms gobbling broadband profits: The financial impact of attack traffic on service provider networks.”

For more about worms, their behavior at each stage of development and subscriber-friendly options for mitigating the impact of worm traffic, visit http://www.sandvine.com/solutions/download_center.asp.


  • Internet worms are wreaking havoc on service provider networks of all sizes, and will cost North American service providers as much as $245 million this year
  • Worms will cost the global service provider sector more than $370 million in 2004
  • In addition to event-level attacks (e.g. Slammer, Sobig) virtually all service provider networks continue to contain varying degrees of latent worm activity and experience daily Denial of Service (DoS) attacks
  • On any given day, between 2 and 12 per cent of all Internet traffic moving across service provider networks is malicious.  Even on well-run networks with dedicated security departments, malicious traffic constitutes, on average, 5 per cent of all data throughput
  • On any given day, approximately 5 per cent of the residential subscriber base is infected by some kind of worm and either actively propagating it or generating malicious traffic
  • This year, worm attacks large and small will cost a typical 100K-subscriber service provider almost $60,000 in avoidable transit fees.  A one million-sub provider will pay an additional $350,000
  • These impacts are intensified by the relative inability of service providers to mitigate malicious traffic on the network while worm and DoS attacks are underway
Emerging Tech

This streaming music service pays artists in Bitcoin, plants trees if you listen

Feedbands is an environmentally friendly subscription streaming music service that pays its artists in Bitcoin, and plants trees in exchange for authenticated listens from customers.

How do Nintendo Switch, Xbox One X compare to each other? We find out

The Nintendo Switch is innovative enough to stand apart from traditional consoles, but could it become your primary gaming system? How does the Switch stack up against the Xbox One?

Need to record calls on an iPhone? Check out our handy guide

Are you wondering how to record calls on your iPhone? It isn't as easy as you might think, but we'll walk you through the process of doing so with Google Voice, and identify several other apps and external voice recorders that can help.

Here are the 5 of the best antivirus solutions for your small business

Getting your business off the ground is hard enough, and dealing with viruses, hackers, and security breaches only makes it harder. These 5 antivirus solutions can help keep you protected.

Edit, sign, append, and save with six of the best PDF editors

Though there are plenty of PDF editors to be had online, finding a solution with the tools you need can be tough. Here are the best PDF editors for your editing needs, no matter your budget or operating system.

Old Nvidia graphics cards to get ray tracing support in upcoming driver

Nvidia's RTX ray tracing technology will no longer be limited to RTX graphics cards. An upcoming driver update will add support for low-end ray tracing to GTX 10-series and 16-series graphics cards.

Apple iMac gets more powerful with new Intel CPUs, Radeon Pro graphics

Apple on Tuesday, March 19 refreshed its iMac lineup with new models featuring slightly more powerful Intel processors and new AMD graphics cards. The new 27-inch 5K model comes with options for Intel's six-core or eight-core ninth-gen…

Nvidia’s new simulator brings virtual learning to autonomous vehicle developers

Nvidia introduced a simulator for testing autonomous vehicle technologies. Drive Constellation is a cloud-based platform technology vendors can use to validate systems efficiently, safely, and much faster than with vehicles on real roads.

Paper designs digitize in real time using an Illustrator-connected paper tablet

Love graphic design, but prefer the feel of real paper? The new Moleskine Paper Tablet - Creative Cloud Connected syncs with Adobe Illustrator in real time, turning paper sketches into digital drawings.

Make the most of your toner with our five favorite color laser printers

Color laser printers have improved dramatically over the years, and today's models offer both blazing print speeds and great image quality. Here are our favorite color laser printers, from massive all-in-ones to smaller budget options.

Firefox 66 is here and it will soon block irritating autoplay videos

Do web advertisements have you frustrated? Mozilla is here to help. The latest version of the browser will soon block autoplaying videos by default and will also help make web page scrolling smoother.

USB4 will be the fastest and most uniform USB standard yet

USB4 is on the horizon and alongside a massive boost in speed it's also unifying with the Thunderbolt 3 standard to help finally create a singular wired connection protocol that all devices can enjoy.

The U.S. government plans to drop $500M on a ridiculously powerful supercomputer

The U.S. Department of Energy has announced plans to build a $500 million exascale supercomputer by 2021. The project, known as the Aurora supercomputer, is expected to boost research efforts in fields such as public health.
Buying Guides

Apple has powered up its iMac lineup, but which one should you opt for?

With new processors and graphics cards for both the 4K and 5K models, the iMac feels like a good option for creatives again. But which should you buy? Here's our guide to choosing the right Apple all-in-one for your needs.