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Sobig Damage Estimate Increased

Two days after issuing an initial estimate of the Sobig worm damages, a U.K-based digital security firm has revised the damage estimate upward by nearly $1.5 billion and broken out the amount of damage resulting from the Sobig.F variant.

"In just under two days, the economic damage attributable to Sobig has risen from $5.59 billion to $7.05 billion as millions of businesses and households worldwide continue to be flooded with infected e-mail," U.K.-based mi2g said in a statement Thursday.

"Sobig has risen to become the third most damaging virus ever according to the mi2g Intelligence Unit as it continues to choke bandwidth even for users with clean machines who are receiving 'returned e-mail messages' non-stop," the group said. The mi2g finding contradicts statements from some other firms that the worm's activity has been slowing.

Sobig has overtaken the Yaha virus in the mi2g's ranking of the most damaging malware over time. It currently trails Klez ($13.94 billion) and Love Bug ($8.75 billion).

The group also estimates that the economic damage from the latest variant, Sobig.F, launched in mid-August, exceeds the damages caused by all previous variants of Sobig. The Sobig.F variant has caused $4.2 billion in damages since Aug. 18, according to the group.

The Mi2g damage estimate is built from sampled productivity loss data, estimates of the number of machines infected and estimates of bandwidth lost.

Sobig.F is scheduled to stop propagating on Sept. 10, when security experts believe the worm's author will launch a new, potentially more potent, variant.

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.

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