Feeds

Malware, spam prompts mass net turn off

Hitting ecommerce - report

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Build a business case: developing custom apps

Both beginners and veterans are finding the Interweb experience so repellent that they're disconnecting in droves, blaming malware and spam. Despite an overall increase in numbers of humans connected to the internet, the mass turn-off is beginning to hit ecommerce in the United States.

"Instead of making life easier — the essential promise of technologies since the steam engine — the home PC of late has made some users feel stupid, endangered or just hassled beyond reason," writes Joe Menn, who penned the definitive book on the Napster phenomenon, in a must-read feature for the Los AngelesTimes.

Gee. And we thought everyone was joining the 'blogosphere' - melding into one enormous global hive mind. Clearly, something is spoiling this happy picture.

Although overall internet usage is increasing, ecommerce has felt the brunt of the mass turn-off, as newcomers find the net is less than they expected, and veterans decide that being connected is no longer tolerable.

The Times cites a survey in which almost a third of online shoppers are buying less than they used to because of security worries. Despite the US broadband boom, the number of online shoppers rose only one per cent last year.

Menn also suggests why. A recent survey reckoned 80 per cent of PCs are infected by malware. The speed with which an unprotected labs was infected - just four minutes - bears that out. And there's little sign of respite. Malware authors are creating 150 zombies a week.

Now comes the hard part. Mired deep in New Age gloop, California's internet evangelists can't even see the problem, let alone suggest a solution. Into this intellectual vacuum, draconian solutions - almost all of which involve compromising the end-to-end principles that have allowed so much malware to flourish - seem likely to find favor with fed-up net users.

Over two years ago we speculated that lock-down solutions such as Palladium and TCPA, or safe, private nets may one day be welcomed as a solution to the internet's tragedy of the commons. This looks more likely than ever.

Self-healing, it ain't. ®

Related stories

Botnets, phishing and spyware - 2004 in review
Stalling net must dump TCP/IP and overlords
'White collar' virus writers make cash from chaos
US netizens: white, wealthy and full of it - shock!
Bored and confused by the PC Internet world turns to phones
The polluted Internet
Watching the Net's background radiation
The Stuckist Net what is your post-Palladium future?
A Stuckist Net you want in
Damn the Constitution: Europe must take back the Web

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Sonos AXES support for Apple's iOS4 and 5
Want to use your iThing? You can't - it's too old
Amazon says Hachette should lower ebook prices, pay authors more
Oh yeah ... and a 30% cut for Amazon to seal the deal
Philip K Dick 'Nazi alternate reality' story to be made into TV series
Amazon Studios, Ridley Scott firm to produce The Man in the High Castle
Joe Average isn't worth $10 a year to Mark Zuckerberg
The Social Network deflates the PC resurgence with mobile-only usage prediction
Chips are down at Broadcom: Thousands of workers laid off
Cellphone baseband device biz shuttered
Feel free to BONK on the TUBE, says Transport for London
Plus: Almost NOBODY uses pay-by-bonk on buses - Visa
Nintend-OH NO! Sorry, Mario – your profits are in another castle
Red-hatted mascot, red-colored logo, red-stained finance books
Twitch rich as Google flicks $1bn hitch switch, claims snitch
Gameplay streaming biz and search king refuse to deny fresh gobble rumors
Stick a 4K in them: Super high-res TVs are DONE
4,000 pixels is niche now... Don't say we didn't warn you
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.