Top ten viruses and hoaxes reported to Sophos in March 2003

Sophos Press Release

Klez still top virus, JDBGMGR knocked off perch by WTC Survivor hoax

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

Position Last
Malware Percentage of reports

"Klez continues to hang around like a bad smell - those hit by it couldn't have updated their anti-virus protection in more than a year. Now that it's possible to receive fully automated updates, there's really no excuse. And though it's easy to protect against Klez, it's a seriously nasty virus to recover from," said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant, Sophos Anti-Virus. "Indicating the growing popularity of file sharing, this month's highest new entry is Gibe, a worm which spreads via the KaZaA network. Businesses need to have a long hard think about whether these applications have a valid place on their networks."

Sophos detected 883 new viruses, worms and Trojan horses in March. The total number it now protects against is 80,962.

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

"The WTC Survivor hoax - which falsely warns of a September 11th themed virus - has taken over the number one slot for the first time in a year. People receiving this hoax should ignore its advice and not email the warning to everyone they know. Much like real viruses, hoaxes clog mail servers and cause much unnecessary confusion," continued Cluley.

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
1WTC Survivor



4Hotmail hoax

5Meninas da Playboy

6Bonsai kitten

7Budweiser frogs screensaver

8A virtual card for you

9Bill Gates fortune



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