Viruses and hoaxes

Anti-virus vendor Sophos has revealed its top ten viruses and hoaxes causing problems for businesses around the world.

The report, which examines virus and hoax reports in the month of June 2004, shows the Hungarian Zafi worm dominating the virus chart, accounting for almost a third of all

viruses detected by Sophos’s global network of monitoring stations.

Nasty Zafi worm knocks Netsky and Sasser from top position in the top ten viruses and hoaxes Reported to Sophos in June 2004.

“”The Zafi-B worm, which calls for changes to Hungarian legislation, such as the introduction of the death penalty in an effort to reduce crime, uses sophisticated social engineering tricks to fool innocent recipients into opening the attachment and launching the virus,”” said Chris Kraft, senior security analyst at Sophos.

“”Zafi-B appeared on our radar screen on June 11th and quickly became a nuisance. It spread itself via peer-to-peer file-sharing systems and email using an array of different languages.””

The Top Ten Viruses in June 2004 are as follows:

1. W32/Zafi-B at 30.4 per cent is a new entry.

2. W32/Netsky-P at 9.9 per cent.

3. W32/Sasser at 6.8 per cent.

4. W32/Netsky-D at 3.1 per cent.

5. W32/Netsky-Z at 2.1 per cent.

6. W32/Netsky-B at 1.6 per cent.

7. W32/Bagle-AA at 1.2 per cent.

8. W32/Netsky-Q at 0.8 per cent.

9. W32/Sober-G at 0.7 per cent.

10. W32/Netsky-C at 0.5 per cent, while others came in at 42.9 per cent.

Sophos figures have shown that more than seven per cent of emails circulating during the month of June have been viral.

“”Sasser fell from the top spot in June, which may very well be the result of computer users learning a lesson and ensured that their computers were patched against security vulnerabilities,”” continued Kraft.

The Top Ten Hoaxes reported to Sophos during June 2004 are as follows:

1. Meninas da Playboy at 13.3 per cent.

2. Hotmail hoax at 11.0 per cent.

3. Spunkball at 10.1 per cent.

4. Bonsai kitten at 6.3 per cent.

5. Budweiser frogs screensaver at 4.9 per cent.

6. A virtual card for you at 4.6 per cent.

6 = Bill Gates fortune at 4.6 per cent.

8. WTC Survivor at 4.4 per cent.

9. JDBGMGR at 3.5 per cent.

10. Jamie Bulger at 2.2 per cent, while the other hoaxes came in at 35.1 per cent.

“”The hotmail hoax may have fallen from the totem pole this month, but the same hoaxes continue to circulate,”” continued Kraft. “”If users forward a hoax to all their friends and colleagues, there is a deluge of email, which can overload mail servers and make them crash. The best advice is to simply ignore, delete or check with your IT department if the email is in question.””

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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