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Top Ten Viruses Reported to Sophos in July 2005

  • 02 August, 2005 09:36

<p>Mytob worms dominate the charts as more variants join the army</p>
<p>+++++++++</p>
<p>Sophos, a world leader in protecting businesses against viruses, spyware and spam, has revealed the top ten viruses causing problems for businesses around the world during the month of July 2005.</p>
<p>The report, compiled from Sophos's global network of monitoring stations reveals that Netsky-P, the worm written by the recently convicted German teenager, Sven Jaschan, tops the charts this month. However, it is the variants of the Mytob worm that are dominating the polls - accounting for seven of the top ten positions and over 37 per cent of all viruses reported to Sophos in July.</p>
<p>The top ten viruses in July were as follows:</p>
<p>1 W32/Netsky-P 13.9%
2 W32/Mytob-AS 11.6%
3 W32/Mytob-BE 9.3%
4 W32/Mytob-EP 5.5%
5 W32/Zafi-D 3.5%
6 W32/Mytob-CX 3.2% New Entry
7 W32/Netsky-D 3.1%
8 W32/Mytob-CJ 2.6%
9 W32/Mytob-CN 2.6%
10 W32/Mytob-AT 2.3%</p>
<p>Others 42.4%</p>
<p>"The sheer volume and range of the Mytob worms sees them hog most positions in the virus chart. It's not the viciousness of the worm that is the problem, but the constant onslaught of slightly differing variants," said Carole Theriault, security consultant, Sophos. "This month's only new entry is another family member - Mytob-CX and despite accounting for only 3.2 per cent of viruses in July, it shows that the Mytob team isn't about to go away."</p>
<p>SophosLabs, Sophos's global network of virus, spyware and spam analysis centres, has analysed and provided protection against hundreds of different Mytob variants, but new versions continue to be released by virus writers and hackers.</p>
<p>"The Mytob army of malware is one of the biggest we have ever seen," continued Theriault. "The criminals behind these attacks are constantly releasing new viral code to do their dirty work for them."</p>
<p>Most of the variants infect networks via email and many are able to take advantage of known software vulnerabilities. Many versions are also equipped with malicious code that enables them to communicate with the outside world - though Sophos points out that these can be contained by a firewall. Some new variants of the worm have even adopted a trick commonly used by phishers, which directs users to a website, where they involuntarily download a copy of the worm.</p>
<p>"The good news is that although the Mytob army is tricky, it is controllable," continued Theriault. "Businesses can tackle these worms so long as they keep multi-layered anti-virus protection, firewalls and security policies fully updated, which will prevent them from turning off the network's anti-virus protection."</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. Companies should also run up-to-date anti-virus software, firewalls and install the latest security patches.</p>
<p>Sophos identified and protected against 1,380 new viruses in July. The total number of viruses Sophos now protects against is 107,598. Its research shows that 2.1 per cent, or one in 47 emails, circulating during the month of July were viral - a slight decrease on the previous month, when one in 43 emails were infected.</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:
www.sophos.com.au/virusinfo/infofeed/</p>
<p>Graphics of the above top ten virus chart are available at:
www.sophos.com.au/pressoffice/imgallery/topten</p>
<p>For more information about safe computing, including anti-hoax policies, please visit:
www.sophos.com.au/virusinfo/bestpractice/</p>
<p>ends</p>
<p>About Sophos:
Sophos is a world leading computer security specialist, protecting customers against viruses, spyware, spam and email policy abuse. Headquartered in the UK, the company produces solutions tailored for organisations of all sizes – from small businesses 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, with branch offices in Melbourne and Auckland. The company has established an extensive partner network across the region. Sophos has also located one of its four, global, SophosLabs Research, Development and Analysis Laboratories and its Asia Pacific Technical Centre of Excellence, in Sydney, to provide global support and engineering services.</p>
<p>http://www.sophos.com.au</p>
<p>FOR FURTHER INFORMATION:</p>
<p>Sophos's press contact at Gotley Nix Evans is:
Michael Henderson (sophos@gne.com.au)
+61 2 9957 5555 (tel)
+61 413 054 738 (mob)
+61 2 9957 5575 (fax)</p>

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