Mimail takes five chart places, but Sober-A hits hardest
Lynnfield, MA - Sophos, a world leader in protecting businesses
against spam and viruses, has revealed the top ten viruses and
hoaxes causing problems for businesses around the world.
The report, which examines virus and hoax reports in the month
of November 2003, shows that a new email-aware worm stormed to the
top of the charts, while an existing hoax had a new burst of
The top ten viruses in November 2003 were as follows:
"Although Mimail made five appearances in this month's chart -
totaling over a quarter of all reports - it is the bilingual Sober
worm that has caused the most problems for computer users this
month," said Chris Belthoff, senior security analyst at Lynnfield,
MA -based, Sophos, Inc. "Sober-A cunningly disguises itself using a
multitude of subject titles and messages, making it difficult to
spot. It can even present itself in German if it thinks it is being
examined on a German user's computer."
"The Mimail worms attempted a number of different tricks,
including attempting to steal the credit card information from
Paypal users," continued Belthoff. " Virus writers and hackers are
becoming more determined to steal confidential information, which
could leave a deep hole in a victim's pocket."
Sophos analyzed and protected against 724 new viruses in
November. The total number it now protects against is 86,081.
The top ten hoaxes reported to Sophos during November are as
||Percentage of reports|
|2||Meninas da Playboy||
|4||Budweiser frogs screensaver||
|6||A virtual card for you||
|7||Bill Gates fortune||
|8||Frog in a blender/Fish in a bowl||
|10||Do not push 90#||
"A new version of the Hotmail hoax, promising users extra
storage space if they forwarded an email to their friends, helped
keep the hoax at the top of the list of hottest hoaxes," said
"Creeping into the chart is the 'Do not push 90#' chain letter,
which is based on an actual telephone scam from the early 1990s,
and has caused people to be unnecessarily alarmed. If you receive a
virus hoax, chain letter or email scam, you should delete it
immediately and resist any temptation to forward it on," continued
Belthoff. "Forwarding chain letters via email not only annoy most
recipients, they clog bandwidth."
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.
Graphics of the virus top ten chart are available here.
More information about safe computing,
including anti-hoax policies.
Sophos is headquartered in Boston, US and Oxford, UK. More information is available at www.sophos.com.