Top ten viruses reported to Sophos in May 2001

June 01, 2001 Sophos Press Release

This is the latest in a series of monthly charts counting down the ten most frequently occurring viruses as compiled by Sophos, a world leader in corporate anti-virus protection.

For May 2001, the chart is as follows, with the most frequently occurring virus at number one:

Position Last
Malware Percentage of reports

"The Homepage worm, which directs infected users to pornographic websites, dominates the top ten list, closely followed by the highly destructive Magistr virus," said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant for Sophos Anti-Virus. "System administrators should not only ensure their company's anti-virus software is up-to-date but also implement content blocking at their email gateway to prevent unauthorised executable and Visual Basic Scripts from entering their networks."

May also saw a politically motivated virus, the Mawanella worm, which highlighted the plight of Muslim villagers in Sri Lanka. Sophos reminds users that all viruses, even those claiming to have a moral message, have an adverse effect on businesses. Not only are man-hours lost whilst systems are disinfected but companies inadvertently sending viruses to associates and customers are at risk of seriously compromising their credibility.

920 new viruses were discovered and protected against by Sophos Anti-Virus during May 2001.

The total number of viruses Sophos now detects and protects against is 64100.

More information about safe computing.

Graphics of the above Top Ten chart are available here.

Compiled by Sophos's technical support team, the top ten chart is collated from calls to Sophos's 24 hour, 365 days a year technical support line.