Top ten viruses and hoaxes reported to Sophos in April 2004

April 30, 2004 Sophos Press Release

Netsky still dominating the virus chart

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 April 2004, shows four new viruses have entered the chart, with Netsky variants taking seven places.

The top ten viruses in April 2004 were as follows:

Position Last
Malware Percentage of reports

"Several Netsky strains continued to cause serious difficulties for unprotected computer users throughout the month of April. With the author of the original Netsky worm claiming to have shared the viral code, it's possible that copycats might be getting their paws dirty by sending out new Netsky variants," said Carole Theriault, security consultant, Sophos. "Although this flurry of virus activity sounds like a nightmare, with automatically updated anti-virus protection at the gateway and on the desktop, these nasties can be stopped regardless of how they try to infiltrate the network. Not only does this protect individual computers, but it also helps slow down the rate of infection, which is good for all of us."

Sophos analysed and protected against 740 new viruses in April. The total number of viruses Sophos now protects against is 89,852.

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

"A new entry to the hoax chart this month is the Nigerian letter scam," continued Theriault. "Several versions of this letter exist, all designed to defraud and extort money from email users. On a positive note, one scammer, Peter Okoeguale, was this month sentenced to 20 months in jail by a judge in North Wales after police traced eleven of his victims."

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
3A virtual card for you
4Bonsai kitten
6WTC Survivor
7Budweiser frogs screensaver
8Bill Gates fortune
9Jamie Bulger
10Nigerian letter