Sophos: Top 10 Viruses and Hoaxes in February 2003

Golden oldies Klez and JDGBMGR enter the record books

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 global leader in anti-virus protection for businesses.

For February 2003, the virus chart is as follows, with the most frequently occurring virus at number one:

1. W32/Klez-H (Klez variant) 13.7% 13th MONTH WITH KLEZ IN TOP TEN
2. W32/Sobig-A (Sobig worm) 7.7%
3. W32/Avril-B (Avril variant) 6.0%
4. W32/Yaha-E (Yaha variant) 4.6%
5. W32/Bugbear-A (Bugbear worm) 4.3%
6. W32/Avril-A (Avril worm) 3.1%
7=. W32/Klez-E (Klez variant) 2.4%
7=. W32/Yaha-K (Yaha variant) 2.4%
9=. W32/Lovgate-B (Lovgate variant) 2.1% NEW ENTRY
9=. W95/Spaces (Spaces virus) 2.1%

Others 51.6%

“The new Lovgate worm may have been the most talked about virus in February, but it certainly wasn’t the most prolific, reaching only number nine in the chart. A worm with altogether more substance is this month’s number one – Klez-H. Klez, in its various guises, has now been hanging around the chart for thirteen months, making it the most persistent worm ever,” said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant, Sophos Anti-Virus. “People infected by Klez couldn’t have updated their protection in yonks. Considering that it’s now possible to automatically update your anti-virus software every hour, there really are no excuses.”

Sophos detected 541 new viruses, worms and Trojan horses in February. The total number it now protects against is 80,079.

The top ten hoaxes reported to Sophos during February 2003 are as follows:

2. WTC Survivor 14.5%
3. Meninas da Playboy 7.1%
4. Bonsai kitten 7.0%
5. Budweiser frogs screensaver 6.0%
6. Hotmail hoax 5.2%
7. Applebees Gift Certificate 3.9%
8. A virtual card for you 3.2%
9. Bill Gates fortune 2.9%
10. ATM Theft 1.8% NEW ENTRY

Others 26.6%

“Never mind crop circles, spaghetti growing on trees, or the supposed clues on the Abbey Road album cover that Beatle Paul McCartney had died and been replaced by an imposter, it’s JDBGMGR that’s fast becoming the hoax of all time,” continued Cluley. “JDBGMGR is right up there with Klez when it comes to creating computer user confusion, but this needn’t be the case. People receiving this message should simply delete it and not be tempted to forward it to all their contacts ‘just in case’ it is a real virus warning.”

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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