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Code Red hysteria – $8.7bn in damage estimated

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Countdown to Armageddon The Reuters wire service is reporting that Code Red has already cost an estimated $1.2 billion in damage, and may top out at an incredible $8.7 billion when its bitter reign of destruction finally ends.

Citing one Michael Erbschloe, vice president of research at IT efficiency clearinghouse Computer Economics, Reuters reckons that the cost of patching systems and losses in worker productivity will skyrocket.

We hate to point out that patching systems is what IT staff do, so we don't quite see the dreadful loss of productivity here. One might as easily say that police lose productivity when they have to interrupt their doughnut runs by investigating crimes, or that doctors lose productivity when they have to abandon the back nine to treat patients.

And as for the cost of clearing the worm from an already-infected system, this is accomplished by re-booting. It's hard to imagine billions going down the drain here, either.

Erbschloe previously estimated the damage from the Love Bug at $8.7 billion and the damage from the Melissa virus at about $1 billion. "In my opinion, $8.7 billion [in damage from Code Red] is not ludicrous," Reuters quotes him as saying.

And thus Reuters got the sensationalist quote they wanted from an 'expert'. ®

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