Mimail takes five chart places, but Sober-A hits hardest
Sophos, a world leader in protecting businesses against spam and
viruses, has revealed the top ten viruses and hoaxes causing
problems for businesses around the world.
The report, which examines virus and hoax reports in the month
of November 2003, shows that a new email aware worm stormed to the
top of the charts, whilst an existing hoax had a new burst of
The top ten viruses in November 2003 were as follows:
"Although Mimail attempted to hijack the chart with a total of
five entries - totalling over a quarter of all reports - it is the
bilingual Sober worm that has caused the most problems for computer
users this month," said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant
at Sophos. "Sober-A sneakily disguises itself using a number of
subject titles and messages, making it difficult to spot with the
naked eye. It can even present itself in German if it thinks it is
being examined on a German user's computer."
"The Mimail worms attempted a number of different tricks,
including attempting to steal the credit card information from
Paypal users," continued Cluley. "The virus writers and hackers are
becoming more determined in their attempts to steal confidential
information that could leave you out of pocket".
Sophos analysed and protected against 724 new viruses in
November. The total number it now protects against is 86,081.
The top ten hoaxes reported to Sophos during November are as
||Percentage of reports|
|2||Meninas da Playboy||
|4||Budweiser frogs screensaver||
|6||A virtual card for you||
|7||Bill Gates fortune||
|8||Frog in a blender/Fish in a bowl||
|10||Do not push 90#||
"A new version of the Hotmail hoax, promising users extra
storage space if they forwarded an email to their friends, helped
keep the hoax at the top of the list of hottest hoaxes," said
"Creeping into the chart is the 'Do not push 90#' chain letter
which is based on a genuine telephone scam from the early 1990s,
and has caused people to be unnecessarily alarmed. If you receive a
virus hoax, chain letter or email scam you should delete it
immediately and resist any temptation to forward it on," continued
Cluley. "Remember that passing the email on, and continuing the
chain simply serves to spread confusion, annoy recipients and clog
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.