Love Bug could cost UK a billion say experts

Data loss and downtime will have a devastating effect

The Love Bug is still troubling UK firms a day after it was first reported on ZDNet and initial estimates put the cost to Britain's businesses in the billions.

Data loss is just one of the expected expenses, the real loss will be due to downtime and extra IT support according to experts.

Technical director of Symantec Anti-Virus in Europe, Kevin Street says, "It's too early to say exactly how much this is going to cost Britain, but this thing has spread way faster than Melissa and has infected way more computers."

Although estimates vary, many experts believe that the Melissa virus outbreak last year cost US businesses around $1bn (£0.65bn).

Street goes on to say that the impact of the Love Bug on Britain has been devastating. "I can't think of one single company that hasn't at least seen this virus," he says. "It has been very, very busy and we've been talking to a lot of big corporations."

Business development manager for anti-virus research at Network Associates, Rob Eatwell, echoes Street's concerns. "This will cost more than any virus so far. It will literally be millions and millions. Mostly it will be in lost productivity and mopping up although no one is going to have to go out and buy a new computer. We are also seeing new variants and we may see waves of new costs with these."

It seems that most of the world is still reeling from the shock of the cutely and seductively named ILOVEYOU virus. Go with Peter Coffee to AnchorDesk UK and read the news comment to find out how easy it was and the perils that lie ahead.

This is being touted as the most dangerous virus since the Melissa virus last year. Go to the TalkBack forums to say your piece and read others thoughts and brushes with the ILOVEYOU virus.

What do you think? Tell the Mailroom. And read what others have said.

Go to our ILOVEYOU Special Report

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