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Anti-virus companies milking their cash cow?

by Donna Buenaventura / March 19, 2004 2:05 AM PST

Right now, a war goes on between virus writers. Caught in the middle are the people who are just trying to use their computers on a day to day basis without their machines becoming compromised. While it is always easy to pin the blame on Microsoft, there are many who think that the anti-virus companies are only half-heartedly involved in addressing the problem. While it is true that all operating systems occasionally have exploits that hackers and virus writers can take advantage of, the current charge by some experts is that the big anti-virus companies are perfectly content on continually cashing in on the ever present viruses floating around on the Internet.

In a recent study by the Department of Trade and Industry in the United Kingdom, 93 percent of smaller companies and 99 percent of large companies said they use antivirus software, and close to 60 percent of firms update their antivirus software automatically to keep up with new virus threats. But computer viruses still managed to hit 50 percent of the smaller firms and infect 68 percent of the larger companies' networks in 2003.

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