Sophos: Top 10 Viruses and Hoaxes in October 2002

This is the latest in a series of monthly charts counting down the ten most frequently occurring viruses and hoaxes as compiled by Sophos, a world leader in corporate anti-virus protection.

For October 2002, the virus chart is as follows, with the most frequently occurring virus at number one:

1. W32/Bugbear-A (Bugbear worm) 77.6% NEW ENTRY
2. W32/Klez-H (Klez variant) 6.2%
3. W32/Opaserv-A (Opaserv worm) 2.5% NEW ENTRY
4. W32/Yaha-E (Yaha variant) 1.1%
5. W32/Badtrans-B (Badtrans variant) 0.8%
6=.W32/Nimda-D (Nimda variant) 0.7%
6=.W32/Opaserv-C (Opaserv variant) 0.7% NEW ENTRY
6=.W32/Opaserv-D (Opaserv variant) 0.7% NEW ENTRY
9. W32/Elkern-C (Elkern variant) 0.6%
10.W32/Opaserv-B (Opaserv variant) 0.5% NEW ENTRY

Others: 8.6%

“After seven months at the top, Klez-H has finally been knocked off its perch by the Bugbear worm,” said Natasha Staley, anti-virus consultant, Sophos Anti-Virus. “Bugbear is a box of tricks that not only spreads via email and network shares but can also log the victim’s keystrokes – allowing hackers to monitor everything a user types from passwords to bank account details.”

Protection against Bugbear was made available by anti-virus vendors as soon as the worm was discovered. Sophos urges users to keep their anti-virus software up-to-date and to regularly download patches to make their operating systems as robust as possible. Bugbear itself exploits vulnerabilities in Microsoft Outlook, Outlook Express and Internet Explorer in order to spread.

Sophos detected 824 new viruses, worms and Trojan horses in October, the total number it now protects against is 77,564.

The top ten hoaxes reported to Sophos during October 2002 are as follows:

1. JDBGMGR 35.7%
2. Budweiser frogs screensaver 6.5%
3=.Meninas da Playboy 4.4%
3=.Hotmail hoax 4.4%
5=.A virtual card for you 3.3%
5=.Bill Gates fortune 3.3%
7. Frog in a blender/Fish in a bowl 2.7%
8. WTC Survivor 2.6%
9. JS/Exploit 1.7%
10.Applebees Gift Certificate 1.6%

Others: 33.8%

To lessen the impact of these bogus viruses warnings, Sophos advises all businesses to implement an anti-hoax policy. This should specify that all virus warnings, whatever their source, are centrally coordinated by one member of staff who is responsible for confirming whether they are real or fake.

Sophos has made available a free, constantly updated information feed for intranets and websites which means users can always find out about the latest viruses and hoaxes:

Graphics of the above Top Ten virus chart are available at:

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