Top ten viruses and hoaxes reported to Sophos in January 2003

Sophos Press Release

Lynnfield, MA - Sophos, a world leader in corporate anti-virus solutions, today announced the latest in a series of monthly charts counting down the ten most frequently occurring viruses and hoaxes.

For January 2003, the virus chart is as follows, with the most frequently occurring virus at number one:

Position Last
Malware Percentage of reports

The Avril worms, first seen in the wild at the beginning of January, accounted for almost 30% of support inquiries. They have taken the top two spots of this month's virus top ten. Other new entries to make the top ten were the Yaha-K and Sobig worms.

"2002 ended with a few persistent offenders dominating the virus chart," said Chris Wraight, technology consultant at Sophos, Inc. "The new year was kicked off with another kind of offender - virus writer, Simon Vallor, who was recently sentenced to two years in prison."

"This month also saw the arrival of the Slammer worm - exploiting a six month old vulnerability. It reinforced the need for everyone to ensure that their patches are kept up-to-date," continued Wraight.

Sophos detected 521 new viruses, worms and Trojan horses in January. The total number it now protects against is 79,538.

The top ten hoaxes reported to Sophos during January 2003 are as follows:

"The JDBGMGR hoax is still the most problematic of the email hoaxes," continued Wraight. "We all have a part to play in slowing down the spread of this hoax. If you receive this email, simply delete it."

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

2WTC Survivor

3Budweiser frogs screensaver

4Meninas da Playboy

5Bonsai kitten

6Hotmail hoax

7Applebees Gift Certificate

8A virtual card for you

9Bill Gates fortune

10Elf Bowling


More than 100 million users in 150 countries rely on Sophos’ complete security solutions as the best protection against complex threats and data loss. Simple to deploy, manage, and use, Sophos’ award-winning encryption, endpoint security, web, email, mobile and network security solutions are backed by SophosLabs - a global network of threat intelligence centers. Sophos is headquartered in Oxford, U.K., and is publicly traded on the London Stock Exchange under the symbol “SOPH.” More information is available at