Newman, M. E. J.,Forrest, S.,Balthrop, J.

Many computer viruses spread via electronic mail, making use of computer users' email address books as a source for email addresses of new victims. These address books form a directed social network of connections between individuals over which the virus spreads. Here we investigate empirically the structure of this network using data drawn from a large computer installation, and discuss the implications of this structure for the understanding and prevention of computer virus epidemics.