Sophos, a world leader in protecting businesses against spam and
viruses, has published a report revealing the top ten viruses and
hoaxes causing problems for businesses around the world during the
month of February 2005.
The report, compiled from Sophos's global network of monitoring
stations, shows that Zafi-D, which first appeared at the end of
2004, maintains its position at the top of the chart for a third
consecutive month. February's top ten is dominated by old viruses,
with only two new entries charting this month: Bagle-BK and
The top ten viruses in February 2005 were as follows:
"It looks like the Zafi-D worm is going to be hanging around
like a bored teenager for some time to come, unless more home users
realise how important it is to update their anti-virus software.
This Hungarian worm accounts for almost one in three viruses
reported," said Carole
Theriault, security consultant at Sophos. "Despite only
appearing at the end of February, the Sober-K worm has already made
an impression on the chart and will be one to watch in March. It
can pose in a number of disguises, including a bogus email from the
FBI or raunchy videos of celebrity heiress Paris Hilton."
"Bagle-BK is the latest incarnation of the Bagle family of worms
to make an impact, fooling many people to open its unsolicited
email attachment. User education, good anti-virus software, and a
sensible email policy can make worms like this an irrelevance,"
continued Theriault. "In February, SophosLabs™ analysed its
100,000th piece of malware, which was yet another variant of the
prolific Rbot worm."
Sophos analysed and protected against 1,295 new viruses in
February. The total number of viruses Sophos now protects against
is 100,898. Sophos research shows that over 3.54%, or one in 28
emails, circulating during the month of February were viral. This
figure is a little lower than last month when 1 in 23 emails were
Sophos continues to recommend that companies deploy a policy at
their email gateway which blocks unwanted executable attachments
from being sent into their organisation from the outside world, as
well as running up-to-date anti-virus software, firewalls, and
installing the latest security patches.
The top ten hoaxes reported to Sophos during February 2005 are
"The Hotmail hoax continues to be the most prevalent, increasing
this month to almost 37% of all reported hoaxes, while the
tsunami-related hoaxes have increased slightly in prevalence this
month, accounting for almost six percent of hoaxes," continued
Theriault. "A re-entry to the top ten, Jamie Bulger, demonstrates
the continual fascination people have with notorious criminal
cases, no matter how old. The best advice for hoaxes is as old as
the day is long: do not forward or respond to unsolicited emails.
Instead, simply delete them."
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 above top ten virus chart are available here.
More information about safe
computing, including anti-hoax policies.