Anti-malware technology is becoming more widely deployed and is fairly effective in defending against many types of malware threats, said Mark McManus, vice president of Research at Computer Economics, in a statement. The antivirus vendors do a pretty good job of responding quickly to new variants, so new attacks dont have the time they used to have to develop into massive new worldwide infections.
The study also found that a shift in the motivation of malware authors has much to do with the decline in direct cost damages. Malware authors today prefer to make money from malware, said Frank Scavo, president of Computer Economics, in a statement. Rather than wreak havoc, cyber-criminals are using infected machines to serve as spam proxies, perpetuate click-fraud, or sniff passwords, for example.
These findings are contained in special report, the 2007 Malware Report: The Economic Impact of Viruses, Spyware, Adware, Botnets, and Other Malicious Code. The 51-page report also provides a breakdown of the cost of malware by size of organization, an analysis of the cost of individual malware events, and much more.