Sophos reports 40% increase in virus growth on last year

January 07, 1998 Sophos Press Release

Companies should be on their guard now more than ever, according to the latest virus figures released by Sophos, antivirus specialist.

Sophos has recorded a continuing increase in the number of new viruses throughout 1997. The total number of distinct viruses now stands at over 13,000 compared to 9,315 at this time last year. The most notable rise is the increase in macro viruses, which have doubled every six months for the last two years.

In an annual round-up of viruses, the high profile of macro viruses seems to have obscured the continuing and real threat of other variants. The traditional boot sector viruses, DOS program file infectors and batch infectors, parasitic DOS viruses, and the relatively new low-level Windows 95 viruses, all made their mark. The first native Windows NT virus, Cabanas, also emerged, in reports to Sophos, at the end of 1997.

"Macro viruses remain the big threat, but companies should remember that new viruses don't remove the risk of infection from older viruses," said Petra Merne, marketing manager at Sophos. "It's worrying for companies to see the number of viruses growing each year, but if comprehensive antivirus protection measures are in place, the danger of virus infection is minimised."

For further details of viruses reported throughout 1997, please contact technical@sophos.com.