Thursday, April 1, 2010

Microsoft's African Investments Start To Pay Off

"Imagine a network of virus-driven computers so infectious that it could bring down the world's top 10 leading economies with just a few strokes. It would require about 100 million computers working together as one, a `botnet` -- the cybersecurity world's version of a WMD. But unlike its conventional weapons equivalent, this threat is the subject of no geopolitical row or diplomatic initiative. That's because no one sees it coming -- straight out of Africa.

"Cybercrime is growing at a faster rate in Africa than on any other continent in the world, according to statistics presented at a conference on the matter in Cote D'Ivoire in 2008. Cybersecurity experts estimate that 80 percent of PCs on the African continent are already infected with viruses and other malicious software. And while that may not have been too worrisome for the international economy a few years ago, the arrival of broadband service to Africa means that is about to change. The new undersea broadband Internet cables being installed today will make Africa no further away from New York than, say, Boston, in the virtual world.

"Broadband Internet access will allow Africa's virus and malware problems to go global. With more users able to access the Internet (and faster), larger amounts of data can be transferred both out and inward. More spam messages in your inbox from Africa's email fraudsters will be only the beginning..."

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