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Top Ten Viruses Reported to Sophos in May 2005

  • 02 June, 2005 08:57

<p>~Sober-N worm storms the chart and topples Zafi-D</p>
<p>Sophos, a world leader in protecting businesses against spam and viruses, has published a report revealing the top ten viruses causing problems for businesses around the world during the month of May 2005.</p>
<p>The report, compiled from Sophos's global network of monitoring stations, reveals that the new Sober-N worm has toppled Zafi-D, which dominated the top of the virus chart for the previous five months. The bilingual Sober-N virus, which poses as tickets for the 2006 Soccer World Cup in Germany, was detected at the beginning of the month and rapidly spread across 40 countries – accounting for 4.5 per cent of all email at its peak.</p>
<p>The top ten viruses in May 2005 were as follows:
1 W32/Sober-N 43.8% New entry
2 W32/Zafi-D 14.5%
3 W32/Netsky-P 13.1%
4 W32/Netsky-D 3.1%
5 W32/Zafi-B 2.0%
6 W32/Mytob-AZ 1.6% New Entry
7 W32/Mytob-Z 1.5%
=7 W32/Netsky-Z 1.5%
=7 W32/Mytob-E 1.5%
10 32/Netsky-N 1.4%</p>
<p>Others: 16.0%</p>
<p>"Sober-N stormed to the top of the chart in early May, making it one of the biggest outbreaks so far this year," said Carole Theriault, security consultant at Sophos. "This manipulative email worm spread quickly, using social engineering tricks, such as offering free World Cup tickets, to entice recipients into opening the infected attachment. The Sober-Q Trojan, released a few weeks later, searched for computers infected with Sober-N and attempted to secretly turn them into spamming machines. The spam subject lines included 'Dresden Bombing Is To Be Regretted Enormously', 'Armenian Genocide Plagues Ankara 90 Years On', 'Dresden 1945' and 'Turkish Tabloid Enrages Germany with Nazi Comparisons'.</p>
<p>"This month also sees another new entry – Mytob-AZ," continued Theriault. "This is another mass-mailing worm accompanied by a backdoor Trojan, allowing others to access the infected user's computer. Despite only accounting for 1.6 per cent of viruses in May, it is a concern due to the severe damage it causes to businesses."</p>
<p>Sophos identified and protected against 1,515 new viruses in May. The total number of viruses Sophos now protects against is 104,784. Its research shows that 2.62 per cent, or one in 38 emails, circulating during the month of May were viral – a small increase on the previous month.</p>
<p>In order to minimise exposure to viruses, Sophos recommends that companies deploy a policy at their email gateway which blocks unwanted executable attachments from being sent into their organisation from the outside world.</p>
<p>Companies should also run up-to-date anti-virus software, firewalls and install the latest security patches.</p>
<p>Sophos has made available a free, constantly updated information feed for intranets and websites which means users can always find out about the latest viruses and hoaxes:</p>
<p>Graphics of the above top ten virus chart are available at:</p>
<p>For more information about safe computing, including anti-hoax policies,
please visit:</p>
<p>news ends</p>
<p>Notes to Editors:</p>
<p>About Sophos.
Sophos is a world leading computer security specialist, developing anti-virus and anti-spam software. Headquartered in the UK, the company produces solutions tailored for businesses of all sizes – from small enterprises to global corporations. Sophos is acclaimed for delivering the highest level of customer satisfaction and protection in the industry. The company's products are sold and supported in more than 150 countries and protect more than 35
million users.</p>
<p>Sophos's regional head office for Australia and New Zealand is in Sydney and hosts one of the company's three Computer Virus Research and Development Laboratories to provide global support services.</p>
Sean Richmond ( is available for comment:
+61 2 9409 9100 (tel)
+61 2 9409 9191 (fax)</p>
<p>Sophos's press contact at Gotley Nix Evans is:
Michael Henderson (
+61 2 9957 5555 (tel)
+61 413 054 738 (mob)
+61 2 9957 5575 (fax)</p>

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