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"Love" bug damages businesses most

The latest assessment to come out of studies on the "I Love You" virus says that 26 percent of people were struck at work, compared to 3 percent at home.

When it comes to the "Love" bug, more people are smitten at work than at home.

That's the latest assessment to come out of studies on the "I Love You" virus that struck computers around the world beginning last week. The virus has been deemed as one the most destructive to ever hit computer systems, affecting more than 600,000 computers and causing $2.5 billion in damage as numerous corporations shut down their email servers and dispatched technicians to repair the damage.

see CNET Software: Protect yourself from a virus attack Twenty-six percent of people with Internet access at work reported that their companies were hit with the virus, compared with 3 percent who said their home PCs were afflicted, according to a weekend survey by market research firm Angus Reid Group and security software maker Symantec.

Angus surveyed 1,000 people throughout the United States; the results have a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percent.

Of the respondents who said their workplace was stricken by "Love" bug emails, 47 percent reported their company's computer systems were damaged. Another 9 percent said their companies shut down their systems to minimize the damage.

When sizing up the potential problem that viruses pose, 50 percent said they believe computer viruses pose a serious threat to the growth of the Net.

But a majority of respondents, 53 percent, believe the computer industry is equipped to control the damage. That optimism, however, was reduced somewhat when respondents were asked to access large corporations and government agencies.

Forty-nine percent believe large companies can handle viruses, while 43 percent feel government agencies are able to adequately wrestle with them.