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(No.1 High-Tech News Site in Japanese)

New Year Special Features '99

  • Computer Virus Damage Drops 15 Pct. in Japan in 1998
  • January 15, 1999 (TOKYO) -- There were 2,035 computer virus cases in Japan in 1998, down 14.9 percent from the 2,391 cases in 1997, the Information Technology Promotion Agency, Japan (IPA) said.
    The decrease trend was observed in the case of large-scale damage when scores of PCs are infected simultaneously. The data was compiled from monthly reports from the IPA.

    When looking at the infection rate by the number of PC units in a simultaneous damage case, a decrease from 8.7 percent in 1997 to 2.9 percent in 1998 was observed in units of 10 to 19. A similar downtrend occurred in units of 20 to 49 PCs, where the 6.5 percent rate in 1997 fell to 1.9 percent in 1998.

    IPA said users are using anti-virus software to thwart the expansion of infections.

    The IPA made that assessment in part because many successful cases of virus infection prevention were reported. Users detected a virus in a floppy disk and took measures not to contaminate a hard disk drive, for example. This type of prevention accounted for 10.0 percent of measures taken in 1997, and increased to 20.4 percent in 1998.

    Among the damage cases during 1998, macro virus-related ones accounted for 1,589, showing little difference from 1,611 cases in 1997. However, the key factor for the decrease in the number of damage reports is the significant decrease in damage caused by viruses in an execute form, from 888 cases in 1997 to 483 in 1998.

    A file size of a macro-virus is smaller compared with the executable file type. Therefore, infection can easily occur via email. As for the infection route, the portion of email increased from 33.0 percent in 1997 to 40.6 percent in 1998. The rate of email infections for the first time became larger than that of external media infections (34.4 percent), including infections from floppy disks.

    Related story: Japan's Computer Virus Incidents Hit Low in November

    (BizTech News Dept.)

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    Updated: Thu Jan 14 15:41:41 1999 PDT