Security vendor Clearswift has called on the Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts to support development of an industry code of practice for reporting Internet threats.
Chy Chuawiwat, managing director for Clearswift Asia Pacific, said in a letter addressed to the Minister, Daryl Williams that recent "scare-mongering" by the media about viruses and worms such as MyDoom and Bagle are damaging business and consumer confidence in the Internet, as well as greatly exaggerating the problem.
"The majority of these stories are based on claims by relatively small players in the global market, using statistics which don't really stand up to any real scrutiny," wrote Chuawiwat.
He claims that media reports on the MyDoom virus have been misleading, creating an impression that all Australian businesses were at its mercy. However, Chuawiwat argues that this is hardly the case.
"Clearswift works with about 50 percent of large Australian organisations and government departments, and not one has reported being inconvenienced by MyDoom," he wrote.
Chuawiwat suggests implementation of a "voluntary industry code" to ensure that information regarding viruses and Internet threats is disseminated responsibly and accurately, with statistics that represent the actual level of threat a virus poses to online businesses and personal users.
Clearswift has also appealed to the Internet Industry Association and the National Office for the Information Economy (NOIE) for help on this issue, claiming that security companies are fearful that if this problem is not addressed it will create a perception that the Internet is not a safe place to do business.
Chuawiwat asserts that MyDoom and other such viruses of this kind are technically easy to prevent, although education and understanding of how to use the Internet securely is needed to prevent panic about the "allegedly unstoppable viruses".