Businesses Beware: Computer Viruses Had Banner Year

min read

computer-virus.jpgComputer viruses infected an all-time high number of machines this year, with "malware" programs that take over terminals and use them as launching points to infect more hardware becoming the biggest headaches.

Finnish computer security firm F-Secure reported this month that the amount of malicious software it has detected has tripled since 2007, with the numbers doubling those of the past 21 years combined. The aim of much of the detected malware was to spread to personal and business computers to then collect financial and personal data, such as credit card information and Social Security numbers, that can aid virtual burglaries and identity theft. The programming "is produced by highly organized criminal gangs using increasingly sophisticated techniques," according to an F-Secure statement.

Although businesses that use Apple Macintosh computers are less susceptible to such viruses, F-Secure states that everyone is vulnerable, and high-profile systems--from the websites of the 2008 presidential candidates, to computers at the International Space Station, to the networks at London hospitals--have been compromised. Even the Pentagon has banned USB memory sticks, or "thumb drives," in order to thwart viruses.

F-Secure is calling for harsher punishment for the propagators of malware. "The bottom line today is that too few of the perpetrators get punished," states the firm's chief research officer, Mikko Hyppönen. "As a result, we're sending the wrong message to criminals: Here is a way to make lots of money and you will never be caught or punished."

More from Entrepreneur

Terry's digital marketing expertise can help you with campaign planning, execution and optimization and best practices for content marketing.
Book Your Session

In as little as seven months, the Entrepreneur Authors program will turn your ideas and expertise into a professionally presented book.
Apply Now

Are paying too much for business insurance? Do you have critical gaps in your coverage? Trust Entrepreneur to help you find out.
Get Your Quote Now

Latest on Entrepreneur

My Queue

There are no Videos in your queue.

Click on the Add to next to any video to save to your queue.

There are no Articles in your queue.

Click on the Add to next to any article to save to your queue.

There are no Podcasts in your queue.

Click on the Add to next to any podcast episode to save to your queue.

You're not following any authors.

Click the Follow button on any author page to keep up with the latest content from your favorite authors.