Panda ActiveScan Top 10 Viruses in March 2004

The effects of the wave of viruses that began in February, and is still the bane of computer users around the world, can be seen in the results of the monthly ranking of frequently detected viruses compiled from data gathered by the Panda ActiveScan free, online scanner.

Throughout March, the D and B variants of the Netsky worm were recorded as the most virulent malicious codes, with Netsky.D responsible for almost fifteen percent of all infections and Netsky.B the culprit in over 11 percent of positive cases. was in third place (7.52% of infections), although this figure represents the detection of all variants of Bagle that could reach computers in password-protected .zip files.

Despite the prevalence of the wave of new malicious code, fourth place in the list was still held by Downloader.L, which has appeared month after month among the most frequently detected viruses.

In fifth place however, with an infection rate of just over six percent, came Nachi.B another worm related to the latest flood of viruses and one which is designed to remove the Mydoom.A and Mydoom.B worms from infected computers. Despite its seemingly benign nature, this virus exploits a Windows vulnerability in order to propagate.

The new Netsky.P (5.89%) and Netsky.C (4.98%) worms occupied sixth and seventh place respectively in the Top Ten, while Mydoom.A, the code responsible for the worst epidemic in the history of computing, was in eighth place with a detection rate of just over four percent.

The last two places in the ranking were held by the veteran Bugbear.B and Parite.B viruses, both responsible for less than three percent of all infections.

Virus % frequency
W32/Netsky.D.worm 14.67%
W32/Netsky.B.worm 11.59%
W32/Bagle.pwdzip 7.52%
Trj/Downloader.L 6.42%
W32/Nachi.B.worm 6.18%
W32/Netsky.P.worm 5.89%
W32/Netsky.C.worm 4.98%
W32/Mydoom.A.worm 4.00%
W32/Bugbear.B 2.71%
W32/Parite.B 2.67%

The following conclusions can be drawn from the data collected by Panda ActiveScan last month:

– The latest wave of viruses is still a major blight for computer users around the world. Of the top ten viruses, seven had first appeared quite recently.

– Some of the viruses such as Nachi.E, Netsky.P and Bugbear.B, exploit vulnerabilities that were solved some months ago, once again highlighting the lack of diligence among users when it comes to installing patches to resolve these security holes.

-The prominence of the Downloader.L Trojan, which has been in circulation for some months now, is a reminder that it is not just topical, explosive viruses that users need to watch out for, but also those which can silently infiltrate computers and yet represent just as much of a security threat as the worst e-mail worm.

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