Top ten viruses and hoaxes reported to Sophos in February 2003

Sophos Press Release

Golden oldies Klez and JDBGMGR enter the record books

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

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

Position Last
Malware Percentage of reports

"The new Lovgate worm may have been the most talked about virus in February, but it certainly wasn't the most prolific, reaching only number nine in the chart. A worm with altogether more substance is this month's number one - Klez-H. Klez, in its various guises, has now been hanging around the chart for thirteen months, making it the most persistent worm ever," said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant, Sophos Anti-Virus. "People infected by Klez couldn't have updated their protection in yonks. Considering that it's now possible to automatically update your anti-virus software every hour, there really are no excuses."

Sophos detected 541 new viruses, worms and Trojan horses in February. The total number it now protects against is 80,079.

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

"Never mind crop circles, spaghetti growing on trees, or the supposed clues on the Abbey Road album cover that Beatle Paul McCartney had died and been replaced by an imposter, it's JDBGMGR that's fast becoming the hoax of all time," continued Cluley. "JDBGMGR is right up there with Klez when it comes to creating computer user confusion, but this needn't be the case. People receiving this message should simply delete it and not be tempted to forward it to all their contacts 'just in case' it is a real virus warning."

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

3Meninas da Playboy

4Bonsai kitten

5Budweiser frogs screensaver

6Hotmail hoax

7Applebees Gift Certificate

8A virtual card for you

9Bill Gates fortune

10ATM Theft


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