Top ten viruses and hoaxes reported to Sophos in June 2004

July 01, 2004 Sophos Press Release

Nasty Zafi worm knocks Netsky and Sasser from top position

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 June 2004, shows the Hungarian Zafi worm dominating the virus chart, accounting for almost a third of all viruses spotted by Sophos's global network of monitoring stations.

The top ten viruses in June 2004 were as follows:

Position Last
month
Malware Percentage of reports
1NewW32/Zafi-B
   30.4%
22W32/Netsky-P
   9.9%
31W32/Sasser
   6.8%
44W32/Netsky-D
   3.1%
55W32/Netsky-Z
   2.1%
63W32/Netsky-B
   1.6%
79W32/Bagle-AA
   1.2%
86W32/Netsky-Q
   0.8%
98W32/Sober-G
   0.7%
107W32/Netsky-C
   0.5%
Others42.9%

"The Zafi-B worm, which calls for changes to Hungarian legislation, such as the introduction of the death penalty to reduce crime, uses sophisticated social engineering tricks to dupe innocent recipients into opening the attachment and launching the virus," said Carole Theriault, security consultant, Sophos. "First seen on 11 June, Zafi-B, which spreads itself by peer-to-peer file-sharing systems and email, using a wide variety of different languages, is proving to be a real pest.

Sophos analysed and protected against 677 new viruses in June. The total number of viruses Sophos now protects against is 91,488. Sophos figures have shown that over 7% of emails circulating during the month of June have been viral.

"Perhaps due to extensive media coverage, Sasser has dropped from the top spot as the most prevalent virus, suggesting that computer users are wising up and ensuring that their computers are patched against security vulnerabilities," continued Theriault. "Indeed, an interview with the suspected author of the Sasser and Netsky worms was published in Germany this month, further publicising the worms."

The top ten hoaxes reported to Sophos during June are as follows:

"The hotmail hoax may have been knocked off the top spot this month, but the same hoaxes recur again and again," continued Theriault. "It's astonishing that computer users are continuing to circulate hoaxes - the best option is just to ignore them."

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.

Position Hoax Percentage of reports
1Meninas da Playboy
  13.3%
2Hotmail hoax
  11.0%
3Spunkball
  10.1%
4Bonsai kitten
  6.3%
5Budweiser frogs screensaver
  4.9%
6A virtual card for you
  4.6%
7Bill Gates fortune
  4.6%
8WTC Survivor
  4.4%
9JDBGMGR
  3.5%
10Jamie Bulger
  2.2%
Others35.1%