New York, May 8, 2000 - American workplaces, and not homes, bore the brunt of the "ILOVEYOU" e-mail virus that spread like wildfire last week through computer systems as complex and sensitive as that of the Pentagon, a weekend Angus Reid Group / Symantec poll finds.
The workplace was hit hard and it resulted in a significant loss of productivity. Fully one-quarter (26%) of those with Internet access at work reported that their companies were exposed to the virus, and of that group, nearly half (47%) said that their employers' computer systems were damaged as a result. On top of that, another one-in-ten (9%) said that while damage was controlled, systems were shut down to eliminate the bug's potential for destruction, cutting into productivity. All told, nearly half of all workplaces with Internet access "got sick" from the "ILOVEYOU" e-mail.
Meanwhile, a much smaller proportion of Americans with Internet access at home were attacked by the virus (3%), suggesting that the "ILOVEYOU" bug was a workplace epidemic and concern.
"This is perceived as a serious problem by a lot of people," said Edward Morawski, senior analyst with the Angus Reid Group in New York, "which is bound to have an impact on how comfortable people are with using the Internet." Americans are split as to the long-term consequences of "ILOVEYOU" and other viruses like it: approximately half agree that computer viruses pose a serious threat to the future growth and use of the Internet, while the other half feel that computer viruses are bound to happen on occasion but pose no long term threat to the internet.
On the other hand, half of Americans are also confident that large corporations, governments, and the computer industry can limit the damage caused by computer hackers.
"The speed of the Internet increases security risks and enables the proliferation of this and future e-mail-borne attacks. However, awareness combined with rapid response by Internet security solution providers can eventually slow the propagation of these types of threats," said Ron Moritz, Symantec's chief technical officer. "We still have a long way to go. Corporations must establish and enforce comprehensive policies regarding such issues so that every employee understands as much about Internet security as they do the physical security within the corporation."
Sample Results from the Angus Reid Group / Symantec Poll of 1000 Americans available in the downloadable PDF file.
Methodology The results were collected by Angus Reid EXPRESS, a nationally representative survey conducted every weekend amongst 1,000 Americans. The margin of error for the total sample of 1000 Americans is +- 3%. Results based on smaller subgroups have a larger potential for sampling error.
About The Angus Reid Group The Angus Reid Group is one of North America's premier market research and public opinion polling firms. The company also provides international clients with a regularly scheduled quarterly global polling program wherein upwards of 30 countries over a two-month timeframe are sampled for opinions on private sector and public matters. The Angus Reid Group also publishes, on a quarterly basis, the World Monitor―a digest of world public opinion trends and insights gleaned from its world polling activities.
For more information on this release, please contact:
Edward Morawski Angus Reid Group New York (212) 265-3200
About Symantec Corporation (Nasdaq: SYMC) Symantec, a world leader in Internet security technology, provides a broad range of content and network security solutions to individuals and companies. The company is a leading provider of virus protection, risk management, Internet content and e-mail filtering, and mobile code detection technologies to enterprise customers. Headquartered in Cupertino, Calif., Symantec has worldwide operations in more than 24 countries.
Susan Murdico Symantec Corporation 310-449-4314