Fun With Confusing Virus Numbers

from the up-or-down? dept

It always pays to be skeptical of just about any numbers that come from anti-virus firms about viruses. Remember, these companies make their money by making sure that we’re all scared to death of the next virus – and are willing to pay good money to stop them. Anti-virus firms have a history of pumping up numbers and the risks of certain viruses because it’s been shown to help sales. Nothing demonstrates the unreliability of such numbers quite so clearly as two different reports put out by virus companies talking about the number of virus attacks in May. One found the most new viruses since December 2001, while the other said that virus levels dropped sharply in May from April, and appeared to be trending downwards. Amusingly, the company reporting that downward trend still reported more viruses in May (1,050) than the company that said viruses had such a big month (959).

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