Politically motivated virus makes it into the top three
This is the latest in a series of monthly charts counting down
the ten most frequently occurring viruses and hoaxes as compiled by
Sophos, a world leader in corporate anti-virus protection.
For July 2002, the chart is as follows, with the most frequently
occurring virus at number one:
"While Klez tops
the virus chart again this month, more recent discoveries Frethem and Yaha are close on its
heels," said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos
Anti-Virus. "Yaha came to prominence as a politically motivated
virus, launching a rudimentary denial of service attack on the
Pakistan government's website and encouraging Indian hackers and
virus writers to join forces and attack Pakistan."
"Arriving in an email with the subject 'Re: Your password',
Frethem relies on a simple psychological trick to entice users to
open the email. The worm is contained in an attached EXE file. As
ever, blocking unwanted file types at the gateway would deal with
The top ten hoaxes reported to Sophos during July 2002 are as
dominated the hoax chart since its discovery in May," continued
Cluley. "The prevalence of "'A Virtual Card for you'
frogs screensaver' several years after they originated
highlights both the severity of hoaxes and how far we still have to
go in educating users in safe computing
practices. Unlike viral code, hoaxes are not detected or
disabled by anti-virus software, so can continue to clog up email
bandwidth longer than many true viruses. To prevent this, computer
users should refrain from forwarding virus warnings to their
friends and colleagues."
810 new viruses were discovered and protected against by Sophos
during July 2002.
The total number of viruses Sophos now detects and protects
against is 75281.
Graphics of the virus top ten chart are available here.
More information about safe computing,
including anti-hoax policies.