Top ten malware threats and hoaxes reported to Sophos in June 2006

July 04, 2006 Sophos Press Release

Sophos, a world leader in protecting businesses against viruses, spyware and spam, has revealed the most prevalent malware threats and hoaxes causing problems for businesses around the world during June 2006.

The report, compiled from Sophos's global network of monitoring stations, reveals that the Netsky-P worm, first seen in March 2004, remains the most widespread piece of malware spreading via email. The family of Mytob worms are also causing multiple infections, with four variants appearing in the top ten.

Sophos now protects against a total of 180,292 different pieces of malware*.

The top ten list of malware in June 2006 reads as follows:

Position Last
month
Virus Percentage of reports
1 1 W32/Netsky-P
16.7%
2 4 W32/Mytob-AS
10.4%
3 3 W32/Nyxem-D
7.4%
4 5= W32/Mytob-P
7.3%
5 5= W32/Mytob-M
7.2%
6 2 W32/Zafi-B
5.7%
7 Re-entry W32/Bagle-Zip
3.7%
8 7 W32/Netsky-D
3.4%
9 10 W32/Mytob-C
2.6%
10 8 W32/MyDoom-O
2.3%
Others 33.3%

"The Netsky-P worm continues to cast a long shadow over the list of most widespread malware, and its sad to think that there are still computers out there which aren't protected against it," said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos. "Businesses are being bombarded with spam and malicious viral emails from infected home PCs. It's in everyone's interest that these contagious computers are cleaned up, and better protected in future to prevent reinfection."

The top ten hoaxes and chain letters in June 2006 were as follows:

Position Hoax Percentage of reports
1 Hotmail hoax
12.5%
2 Olympic torch
9.7%
3 Justice for Jamie
5.7%
4 Bonsai kitten
4.9%
5 Meninas da Playboy
3.6%
6 Budweiser frogs screensaver
3.0%
7 Bill Gates fortune
2.7%
8 MSN is closing down
2.4%
9= A virtual card for you
1.7%
9= Mobile phone hoax
1.7%
Others 52.1%

"The Olympic Torch hoax has been knocked from its lead position in the pack of hoaxes clogging up email inboxes to see the old faithful Hotmail hoax overtake it," said Cluley. "Hoaxes and chain letters can cause users to panic, and it's wise to remember to always think twice and check the facts before forwarding an email warning."

Graphics of the above top ten virus chart are available.

* Note that Sophos has changed the way in which it calculates and reports the threats that it protects against to more accurately reflect the number of individual threats detected by its proactive Genotype technology.