In an effort to pre-empt the threat of malicious viruses during the Sydney Games, Australia's official antivirus services provider, Trend Micro, has doubled its emergency response team.
The virus protection company has also teamed up with Telstra to provide the first site in Australia to have real-time 24x7 monitoring for the duration of the Games.
Trend Micro is managing antivirus services for Stadium Australia, SOCOG, Sydney Opera House, NSW Police, Sydney Airport and Telstra.
Describing the Sydney Games as "the first Olympics to be held in the internet age", Trend Micro marketing manager Andy Liou said virus writers pose a very real threat because of the publicity surrounding the sporting event.
"Some 15-year-old wanting to get publicity may try to send a Trojan virus and it could be from anywhere in the world. In some countries they don't face charges because it is not even an illegal act; often the dumbest viruses are the most effective," Liou said.
"More than 80 per cent of viruses are spread through the internet; the ILoveYou bug, which caused $US10 billion worldwide, is a recent example."
The internet and increasing use of email have made the Olympics a high-risk event, Liou said, forcing Trend Micro to increase its emergency response team from four to eight.
Liou said potential threats include changing sporting results on the web page and the "loss of reputation'' to Sydney, which is impossible to measure.
Telstra is the first Australian member of Trend Micro's eDoctor Global Network, a group of ISPs, ASPs and telcos that rely on the company's technology to provide value-added content security services to their clients.