Company Logo Thursday, May 27, 2004

Worms to cost European ISPs 282 million in 2004/05

Study shows attacks on EU service providers now a daily occurrence

Basingstoke, UK; May 27, 2004 — European broadband providers are bearing massive cost burdens in order to minimise the impact of worm attacks on residential subscribers, according to new research from Sandvine Incorporated.

Though worms are usually associated with attacks on corporate networks, the malicious, malformed data traffic they generate is also wreaking havoc on service provider networks, degrading the broadband experience for home Internet users and imposing anywhere from thousands to millions in unplanned network and customer support costs directly related to thwarting attacks.

Working from metrics derived from European customers and selected industry sources, Sandvine has calculated that worm attacks – small and large – will cost the European service provider sector more than as €123 million in 2004 and €159 in 2005.

Metrics include the cost of specialised tactical response teams, swamping of customer support resources, inflated transit costs and perhaps most damaging over the long term, a loss of brand equity that aggravates the industry-wide problem of customer churn.

“The quickening pace and global impact of worm attacks makes understanding their impact on ISPs increasingly urgent,” said Tom Donnelly, co-founder and VP, marketing and sales of Sandvine Incorporated. “Worms exact a massive toll by forcing service providers in Europe and elsewhere to mobilise premium resources in order to quell attacks and protect the subscriber experience.”

In addition to the onerous cost of large-scale attacks, Sandvine researchers have discovered another type of expensive worm activity: persistent, low-level attack traffic caused by remnants of previous worms that tenaciously cling-on to residential subscriber PCs. Cumulatively, worms of both magnitudes are now an operational preoccupation for network managers and a worrisome drag on ISP profit margins.

For more on the study, Download Sandvine’s just-released white paper “Worms gobbling ISP profits: The financial impact of attack traffic on European service provider networks.” Available from (

For more about worms, their behavior at each stage of development and subscriber-friendly options for mitigating the impact of worm traffic, visit Sandvine online at

About Sandvine
Sandvine’s award-winning network equipment helps broadband service providers better manage the growing burden of peer-to-peer (P2P) activity while protecting subscribers and preserving the overall Internet experience. Sandvine Peer-to-Peer Policy Management helps service providers take control of P2P traffic, stop the proliferation of destructive worm code and achieve new operational efficiencies. Sandvine products are protecting the Internet experience for millions of broadband subscribers worldwide. To find out more, visit Sandvine online at

Worms and their cost to service providers: key findings

  1. Internet worms are wreaking havoc on service provider networks of all sizes, and will cost European service providers as much as €123 million this year, and €159 million in 2005
  2. Estimated cost of worm attacks on ISPs in 2004, major EU broadband markets:
        UK    €22.4 Million
        France    €17.9 Million
        Germany    €22.7 Million
        Scandinavia    €12.4 Million
  3. In addition to event-level infestations (Netsky, Sasser), all service provider networks experience daily Denial of Service (DoS) attacks
  4. On any given day, between 5 and 12 per cent of all Internet traffic moving across European ISP networks is malicious
  5. These impacts are intensified by the relative inability of European service providers to mitigate malicious traffic on the network while worm and DoS attacks are underway


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