Top Ten Viruses And Hoaxes Reported To Sophos In August 2004

New virus numbers hit 33-month high, but old timers dominate reports

Sophos, a world leader in protecting businesses against spam and viruses, has published a report revealing the top ten viruses and hoaxes causing problems for businesses around the world.

The report, compiled from Sophos’s global network of monitoring stations, shows that all of the top ten most frequently encountered viruses have been around for months. Number one in the chart – Zafi-B – has held the top spot in the chart for the last three months.

The top ten viruses in August 2004, and the month they were first seen, were as follows:

1. W32/Zafi-B 47.4% June 04
2. W32/Netsky-P 18.0% March 04
3. W32/MyDoom-O 7.2% July 04
4. W32/Netsky-D 4.8% March 04
5. W32/Netsky-Z 3.9% April 04
6. W32/Bagle-AA 3.3% April 04
7. W32/Netsky-B 2.9% February 04
8. W32/Lovgate-V 1.9% April 04
9. W32/Netsky-Q 1.5% March 04
10. W32/Netsky-C 1.4% February 04

Others 7.7%

“Although we have seen a small, ten percent, decline in reports of Zafi-B since last month, this email-aware worm doesn’t look like it’s going to fade into obscurity anytime soon,” said Carole Theriault, security consultant at Sophos. “Protection against Zafi-B has been available for a couple of months now, and computer users need to get into the habit of updating their systems in a much more timely manner, or this nuisance will continue to dominate reports.”

Sophos analysed and protected against 1,230 new viruses in August, the highest number of new viruses seen in one single month since December 2001. The total number of viruses Sophos now protects against is 93,875. Sophos figures show that over 9.3% of emails circulating during the month of August were viral.

“Despite more than 1,200 new viruses being detected in August, not one has made it into the chart this month. In fact, the entire top ten is made of viruses which have been doing the rounds for weeks if not months. A few pesky Netsky variants are still flying around, despite the arrest of the worm’s alleged author a few months ago,” continued Theriault.

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

1. Hotmail hoax 20.1%
2. Meninas da Playboy 9.7%
3. WTC Survivor 8.1%
4. Bonsai kitten 5.3%
5. Bogus US Bank email 3.5% NEW ENTRY
6. Budweiser frogs screensaver 3.4%
7. A virtual card for you 3.1%
8. Spunkball 2.9%
9. Bill Gates fortune 2.6%
10. T-Virus 1.9% NEW ENTRY

Others 39.4%

“There are two new entries to the hoax chart this month,” continued Theriault. “The ‘T-Virus’ hoax caused quite a bit of confusion in August – an ill advised viral marketing ploy to promote a new video game, it used text messages telling phone users that they were infected by a virus. Meanwhile a phishing scam, the ‘bogus US bank email’, redirected innocent users to a website in Korea in an attempt to steal bank account details.”

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