Sophos announces 2002's top malicious codes

Here’s a top 10 list computer users would rather avoid -- antivirus software maker Sophos PLC has reported its most frequently occurring viruses and hoaxes for 2002.

According to Lynnfield, Mass.-based Sophos, the most recurring malicious code affecting end-users last year was the pesky Bugbear, a mass-mailing and network worm. Coming in a close second was the Klez worm -- a Trojan horse-type virus that sends e-mail messages with randomly named attachments and subject fields -- which in December had been noted as the most prolific virus in 2002.

Also causing problems for users in December was the Tubmo Trojan horse, which placed third. The troublesome code redirects Web browsers to specific Web sites and portals, Sophos said, adding that it detected more than 600 malicious codes last month alone.

Even though protection against Klez and Bugbear is a simple matter of safe computing, these two viruses continue to cause problems, said Sophos technology consultant Chris Wraight in a statement.

Users should regularly ensure that antivirus software's data definitions are up-to-date, Wraight continued. Fake virus warnings continued last year with the JDBGMGR hoax coming in at number one. The mass e-mail hoax warns unsuspecting users about a bogus virus and prompts users to delete a legitimate Windows file. "The JDBGMR hoax has been at the top of the myth list for eight months and shows no signs of subsiding," Wraight said.

Details of the top ten chart can be found at www.sophos.com/virusinfo/topten/200212summary.html.

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Ryan B. Patrick

PC World
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