$8.5 bln lost to viruses and spyware in 2006-2007

US consumers lost almost $8.5 bln over the last two years to viruses, spyware, and phishing schemes. Consumer Reports estimates that American consumers have replaced about 2.1 mln computers over the past two years because of online threats. Consumers have 1 in 6 chance of becoming a cybervictim, down from 1 in 4 in 2007. Spyware and virus infections have also declined significantly over the past few years. Consumer Reports projects that problems they cause have resulted in damages of roughly $6.5 bln over the past two years. Consumer Reports also estimates that 3.5 mln U.S. households with broadband remain unprotected by a firewall.