Sophos: Top 10 Viruses and Hoaxes in July 2003

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

1. W32/Sobig-E (Sobig variant) 47.8% New Entry
2. W32/Bugbear-B (Bugbear variant) 11.0%
3. W32/Klez-H (Klez variant) 5.9% 18 months in chart
4. W32/Sobig-A (Sobig worm) 2.7%
5= W32/Parite-B (Parite variant) 0.9% New Entry
5= W32/Sobig-B (Sobig variant) 0.9%
7. W32/Ganda-A (Ganda worm) 0.8% New Entry
8= W32/Opaserv-G (Opaserv variant) 0.7%
8= W32/Sobig-D (Sobig variant) 0.7% New Entry
8= W95/Dupator (Dupator worm) 0.7% New Entry

Others: 27.9%

“Forget the Osbournes or the Addams Family – the Sobig family of computer worms, accounting for more than half of all virus reports, is most likely to strike fear into the hearts of IT administrators,” said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant for Sophos Anti-Virus. “The Sobig worms, and some of the other top ten viruses, don’t just spread by email. They use a variety of means. This underlines the importance of keeping anti-virus protection up to date at all entry points to the company network.”

Sophos detected 625 new viruses, worms and Trojan horses in July. The total number it now protects against is 83,499.

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

1. Bill Gates Fortune 14.1% New Entry
2. JDBGMGR 12.1%
3. Hotmail Hoax 10.8%
4. Meninas da Playboy 10.0%
5. Bonsai Kitten 5.9%
6. Budweiser frogs screensaver 4.7%
7. Free Flight 3.5%
8= Frog in a blender / Fish in a bowl 3.4%
8= Virtual card for you 3.4%
10. WTC Survivor 2.7%

Others: 29.4%

“An old chain letter promising that Bill Gates will share his personal fortune with anyone who forwards the email onto friends and family has stormed to the top of the chart in July,” said Cluley. “Chain letters and hoaxes waste valuable email bandwidth and can scare people into panicking about non-existent virus threats.”

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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