Top ten viruses and hoaxes reported to Sophos in February 2004

March 01, 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

"Though protection for it has been available since December, Sober-C managed to claim the top position again, ahead of several higher profile worms including Mydoom-A, Netsky-B and Bagle-B," said Sean Richmond, Sophos's Technical Support Manager for Australia and New Zealand. "Sober-C travels via email and KaZaA networks and is continuing to spread widely - perhaps a sign that those being affected, should automate anti-virus updates to strengthen their defences against known threats."

"MyDoom-A, which used its large network of infected machines to attack SCO's website, may well have taken the lead if not for the built in expiry date of February 12. As it stands, it still managed to be the second most reported virus this month," continued Richmond. "MyDoom-B attempted a similar attack on Microsoft's website, however this worm fizzled and was not among Sophos's top ten."

February also saw some increased action in the fight against computer crime, with Microsoft offering another bounty of USD 250,000 to catch the author of Mydoom-B and the arrest of a female virus writer in Belgium known as Gigabyte.

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:

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