Might Governments Clean-Up Malware?
University of Cambridge
March 21, 2011
Communication and Strategies, No. 81, pp. 87-104, 2011
End-user computers that have become infected with malware are a danger to their owners and to the Internet as a whole. Effective action to clean-up these computers would be extremely desirable, yet the incentives conspire to dissuade ISPs (and others) from acting. This paper proposes a role for government in subsidising the cost of clean-up. The organisations that tender for the government contract will factor in not only the costs of the clean-up, but also the profits they can make from their new consumer relationships. A model is proposed for what the tender price should be – and, by plugging in plausible values, it is shown that the cost to the tax payer of a government scheme could be less than a dollar per person per year; well in line with other public health initiatives.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 18
Keywords: malware, cybersecurity, security economics
JEL Classification: H230Accepted Paper Series
Date posted: March 15, 2012
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