IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Might Governments Clean-up Malware?


  • Richard CLAYTON

    (University of Cambridge)


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.

Suggested Citation

  • Richard CLAYTON, 2011. "Might Governments Clean-up Malware?," Communications & Strategies, IDATE, Com&Strat dept., vol. 1(81), pages 87-104, 1st quart.
  • Handle: RePEc:idt:journl:cs8104

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    More about this item


    malware; cybersecurity; security economics;

    JEL classification:

    • H23 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Externalities; Redistributive Effects; Environmental Taxes and Subsidies


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:idt:journl:cs8104. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (BLAVIER Thomas). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.