Top 10 Viruses And Hoaxes Reported To Sophos In October 2004

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 the most prevalent viruses in October were Netsky-P and Zafi-B – viruses which have topped the chart since Zafi-B first appeared in June.

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

1. W32/Netsky-P 35.2% March 04
2. W32/Zafi-B 28.0% June 04
3. W32/Netsky-D 7.0% March 04
4. W32/Netsky-Z 5.8% April 04
5. W32/Bagle-AA 4.4% April 04
6. W32/Netsky-B 3.9% February 04
7. W32/Netsky-Q 2.6% March 04
8. W32/MyDoom-O 2.2% July 04
9. W32/Netsky-C 1.9% February 04
10. W32/Bagle-Zip 1.0% NEW ENTRY

Others 8.0%

“With only one new entry, at the bottom of this month’s chart, the dominance of Netsky-P and Zafi-B seems unshakable,” said Carole Theriault, security consultant at Sophos. “These viruses are so prevalent and well established that it is very difficult for newer viruses to compete. Thousands of copies are circulating all over the world – it may be that unprotected PCs in areas where computer security is not a top priority are responsible for keeping the menace alive.”

Sophos analysed and protected against 1,131 new viruses in October. The total number of viruses Sophos now protects against is 96,156. Sophos figures show that over 4.6%, or one in 22 emails, circulating during the month of October were viral. When this figure is compared to those of the last few months, a noticeable reduction in viral email traffic can be seen – in July, over 9% of emails were viral.

“The self-confessed author of the Netsky worms – whose variants take six places in October’s chart – discovered this month that his trial has been postponed until 2005. The German court is said to have delayed the case because it has proven impossible to agree an earlier date with all parties involved. Users affected by Jaschan’s worms will no doubt be waiting to see the outcome,” continued Theriault.

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

1. Hotmail hoax 36.0%
2. Meninas da Playboy 8.6%
3. Jamie Bulger 4.8%
4. A virtual card for you 4.3%
5. Bonsai kitten 3.3%
6. WTC Survivor 3.0%
7. Budweiser frogs screensaver 2.9%
8. Bill Gates fortune 2.6%
9. Lottery winner 1.6%
10. Applebees Gift Certificate 1.5% RE-ENTRY

Others 31.4%

“The Hotmail hoax – which claims to be an email from Hotmail’s administration urging users to forward the message on to other Hotmail addresses – is continuing to circulate,” continued Theriault. “This hoax was number one in the hoax chart in October last year and only fell to second position for one month in the past year. Everyone can play a part in slowing down the spread of this hoax. If you receive this email, simply delete it.”

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