Sophos: Top 10 Viruses and Hoaxes in December 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 December 2002, the virus chart is as follows, with the most frequently occurring virus at number one:

1. W32/Bugbear-A (Bugbear worm) 15.8% THIRD MONTH AT NUMBER ONE
2. W32/Klez-H (Klez variant) 10.9% ELEVENTH MONTH IN TOP TEN
3. Troj/Tubmo-A (Tubmo Trojan) 5.9% NEW ENTRY
4. W32/Klez-G (Klez variant) 4.5% RE-ENTRY
5. W32/Opaserv-G (Opaserv variant) 3.9%
6. W32/Nimda-D (Nimda variant) 2.9%
7. W32/Opaserv-A (Opaserv variant) 2.7%
8. W32/Opaserv-F (Opaserv variant) 2.5%
9= W32/Braid-A (Braid worm) 2.2%
9= W32/ElKern-C (Elkern) 2.2%

Others: 46.5%

“Two worms account for over a quarter of all support queries we receive at Sophos. Klez, the biggest virus of 2002, and Bugbear continue to cause users problems even though protection against them is simple,” said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant, Sophos Anti-Virus. “It’s important that all users ensure they keep their anti-virus software up-to-date and practise safe computing.”

Also causing problems for users in December was the Tubmo Trojan horse which makes changes to web browsers by redirecting them to specific websites and portals.

Sophos detected 636 new viruses, worms and Trojan horses in December, the total number it now protects against is 79,017.

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

2. Budweiser frogs screensaver 10.7%
3. A virtual card for you 7.2%
4. Bonsai kitten 7.0%
5. Meninas de Playboy 6.6%
6. Hotmail hoax 6.0%
7. WTC Survivor 5.7%
8. Elf Bowling 3.6%
9. Mobile phone hoax 2.9%
10.Frog in a blender/fish in a bowl 2.8%

Others 33.8%

“The JDBGMR hoax has been at the top of the myth list for eight months and shows no signs of subsiding,” continued Cluley. “The seasonal Elf Bowling hoax about a joke program which shows Santa Claus playing ten pin bowling with elves made a reappearance after a full year away.”

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:

For more information about safe computing, including anti-hoax policies, please visit:

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