Hoaxes, myths,
urban legends




About us


Truth about computer security hysteria
Truth About Computer Security Hysteria

British fearmonger calculates viruses in U.S. dollars

Rob Rosenberger, Vmyths co-founder
Thursday, 29 July 1999

MORE WILD STUFF from the folks at mi2g — a press release dated 15 July claims ExploreZip alone "cost an estimated US $7.6 Billion." They didn't bother to explain how they came up with this gargantuan figure.

Why do British fearmongers so often give damage estimates in U.S. dollars?

"Since the start of 1999," mi2g noted, "there have been three major virus attacks and several full scale Cyber Attacks on businesses and government departments." They mentioned the viruses by name yet forgot to mention any of those "full scale" cyber-terrorism incidents. The press release went on to say "Cyber Warfare has become a growing business menace as corporate resources are reaching a saturation point."

I pondered the term "saturation point" for longer than I'd care to admit. Frankly, I can't even begin to explain what mi2g meant by it.

Speaking of pondering... mi2g's press release pondered how the corporate world can avoid the threat of terrorists and hackers and viruses, oh my. The answer: "a bespoke security architecture coupled with operating environment diversity." mi2g believes every firm should customize a unique blend of multiple operating systems and multiple network architectures. Hackers will eventually put you out of business if you try to save money with a common OS & network.

bespoke: (adj.) [Brit.] custom or custom-made; making or made to order.
-- Webster's New World Dictionary

Remember what I said about the true "common" threat? We designed the Internet so diverse networks could communicate with each other after a nuclear holocaust. No matter how unique you make yourself, you negate it the instant you hook up to the ultra-common Internet. Sounds obvious, doesn't it? mi2g overlooked this.

Or did they? mi2g stands to gain if British firms take this advice. The consulting business would skyrocket if every company ran a unique blend of multiple operating systems on top of multiple network architectures. You think your IT budget looks big now? Imagine if you needed nine separate network admin teams who can't even fill in for each other. (sniff) I smell a cash cow.

Hold on, it gets better. An "editor's note" at the bottom of the press release offers this clarification: "each internet eco-system evolution year has shrunk to 30 days in '99, from 60 days in '97, and continues to diminish." What's an Internet eco-system evolution year, you ask? AltaVista, HotBot, and DejaNews came up blank.

Okay, let's move on to mi2g's 26 July press release. It quotes spokesmodel D.K. Matai: "expenses and time lost [due to 'economic terrorism'] are rising much faster than budgets." In the very next sentence, he says "the answer [to 'economic terrorism'] lies in a properly funded bespoke security architecture to which the board of directors commits itself completely."

Warning: cash cows produce large quantities of methane.

Your company loses gobs of money due to terrorism and hacking and viruses, oh my. The solution is to spend gobs of money on a unique, custom security architecture. Make the check out to mi2g.

If you bump into Matai, ask him to explain how his "bespoke" theory protects clients from the commonality of the Internet.