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Technological Networks and the Spread of Computer Viruses

Justin Balthrop, Stephanie Forrest, M. Newman, Matthew Williamson
SCIENCE VOL 304 23 APRIL 2004 pp.527-529
April 2004

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Computer viruses and worms are an increasing problem throughout the world. By some estimates 2003 was the worst year yet: Viruses halted or hindered operations at numerous businesses and other organizations, disrupted cashdispensing machines, delayed airline flights, and even affected emergency call centers. The Sobig virus alone is said to have caused more than $30 billion in damage (1). And most experts agree that the damage could easily have been much worse. For example, Staniford et al. describe a worm that could infect the entire Internet in about 30 s (2). A worm of this scale and speed could bring the entire network to a halt, or worse.

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