Top ten viruses and hoaxes reported to Sophos in February 2004

February 27, 2004 Sophos Press Release

Sober-C reclaims top spot

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 February 2004, shows MyDoom-A slip off the top spot, to allow for Sober-C's return to the number one position.

The top ten viruses in February 2004 were as follows:

Position Last
Malware Percentage of reports

"Sober-C, which first topped the chart in December, returned to the top slot again this month ahead of the high profile worms MyDoom-A, Netsky-B and Bagle-B," said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos. "Sober-C travels via email and peer-to-peer networks and is continuing to spread widely. Protection against this worm has been available for months - those falling victim should consider automating their anti-virus updates in order to beef up their defences."

"My-Doom-A, which created a possessed zombie army, knocking SCO's website off the internet, took second place and might have hit the top of the chart this month had it not expired on 12th February," continued Cluley. "Its variant MyDoom-B attempted a similar onslaught on Microsoft's website, however this worm caused few infections and didn't even make Sophos's top ten. This month also saw the fight against computer crime stepped up, with Microsoft offering USD 250,000 to catch the author of Mydoom-B and the arrest of female virus writer Gigabyte in Belgium."

Sophos analysed and protected against 869 new viruses in February. The total number of viruses Sophos now protects against is 88,288.

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

"Businesses need to remain vigilant against hoaxes. While the Hotmail hoax simply acts as an email chain letter, other hoaxes pose a much more serious threat, often convincing users to delete files from their computers," 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
1Hotmail hoax
2Meninas da Playboy
4Budweiser frogs screensaver
5Bonsai kitten
6A virtual card for you
7WTC Survivor
8Bill Gates fortune
9Elf Bowling
10Applebees Gift Certificate