Sophos: Top 10 Viruses and Hoaxes in May 2003

New entries Palyh and Fizzer dominate this month’s chart

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

1. W32/Palyh-A (Palyh) 19.9% NEW ENTRY
2. W32/Fizzer-A (Fizzer) 9.8% NEW ENTRY
3. W32/Klez-H (Klez) 7.1% 16th MONTH IN CHART
4. W32/Lovgate-E (Lovgate) 4.2%
5. W32/Sobig-A (Sobig) 3.1%
6. W32/ElKern-C (ElKern) 2.4%
7. W32/Bugbear-A (Bugbear) 1.9%
8. W32/Yaha-P (Yaha) 1.6%
9. W32/Nimda-D (Nimda) 1.4% RE-ENTRY
10. W32/Opaserv-G (Opaserv) 1.1% RE-ENTRY

Others 47.5%

“May saw two new entries at the top of the chart – Palyh and Fizzer,” said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos Anti-Virus. “Disguised as a message from Microsoft technical support, Palyh spread quickly via email and network shares. Fizzer, meanwhile, exploited email and the KaZaA file-sharing network. Both of these prove that it isn’t enough just to block your email gateway – companies should ensure the virus protection on their desktops is automatically updated.”

Sophos detected 611 new viruses, worms and Trojan horses in May. The total number it now protects against is 82,048.

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

1. Nokia giveaway 11.7% NEW ENTRY
2. JDBGMGR 11.6%
3. Meninas da Playboy 11.4%
4. Hotmail hoax 8.5%
5. WTC Survivor 6.3%
6. Budweiser frogs screensaver 5.5%
7. Bonsai kitten 4.1%
8. A virtual card for you 4.0%
9. Frog in blender/Fish in bowl 3.0% RE-ENTRY
10. Applebees Gift Certificate 2.3% NEW ENTRY

Others 31.5%

“A chain letter claiming to offer a free Nokia mobile phone has stormed to the very top of the hoax charts this month,” said Cluley. “The Nokia Giveaway chain letter has even managed to topple JDBGMGR, one of the most persistent hoaxes of all time.”

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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