Old-timers top malware chart

Sophos has revealed the most prevalent malware threats and email hoaxes causing problems for computer users around the world during March 2007.

The figures, compiled by Sophos’s global network of monitoring stations, show that the Netsky family has had the biggest impact on computer users this month, accounting for almost a third of all malware seen during March.

Netsky’s return to the top comes despite protection against this family of worms having been available for more than three years. Interestingly, just 0.18 percent or one in 555 emails was infected in March, yet Sophos detected 8,835 new threats, bringing the total protected against to 231,548. These numbers indicate that while malware spreading via email is still causing trouble, the vectors used to distribute threats are changing: hackers are continuing their move away from mass-mailing worms in favour of using spam messages with links pointing to infected webpages.

The top ten list of malware threats in March 2007 reads as follows:

1. Netsky 32.7%
2. Mytob 30.4%
3. Sality 7.8%
4. MyDoom 5.2%
5. Bagle 4.1%
6. Zafi 3.4%
7. Stratio 2.6%
8. Nyxem 2.6%
9. Clagger 2.4%
10.DwnLdr 2.0%

Others 6.8%

The top ten list of countries hosting malware-infected websites in March 2007, reads as follows.

1. China (incl Hong Kong) 35.6%
2. United States 32.3%
3. Germany 7.5%
4. United Kingdom 5.5%
5. Russia 4.6%
6. France 3.6%
7. Netherlands 1.3%
8. South Korea 1.2%
=9. Ukraine 1.0%
=9. Canada 1.0%

Others 6.4%

“Since December 2006, we have seen some remarkable changes in the countries hosting the most malware,” continued Theriault. “China has taken the lead from the United States, but more dramatically, the United Kingdom, which hosted less than one percent in December is now responsible for more than five percent. This significant increase should be a warning to those hosting websites in the UK to ensure that they have patched against vulnerabilities that might be lurking on their site.”

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