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 June 2005.
The report, compiled from Sophos's global network of monitoring
stations, reveals that the family of Mytob variants have exploded
into the chart, holding seven of the top ten positions and
accounting for over 40% of the top ten threats reported to
The top ten viruses in June 2005 were as follows:
"It seems that the more established virus families, such as
Netsky and Zafi, are meeting their match," said Carole Theriault, security
consultant at Sophos. "The Mytob-BE worm, in lead position this
month, spreads via email and opens a backdoor on the infected
computer, allowing unauthorised and remote users to access the PC's
contents. It also attempts to block access to computer security
websites, making it more difficult for the user to get information
"Considering the plethora of Mytob worms, it seems the authors
seem intent on cracking the formula for a worm than can both bypass
security measures and collate information," continued Theriault.
"There is a lot of talk in the industry about mass-mailing worms
dying off, but we are seeing no evidence of this. Although virus
writers are looking at other routes into an organisation, such as
the internet, they have certainly not given up on taking advantage
of people opening unsolicited email attachments."
Sophos identified and protected against 1,434 new viruses in
June. The total number of viruses Sophos now protects against is
106,218. Its research shows that 2.3%, or one in 43 emails,
circulating during the month of June were viral - a decrease on the
In order to minimise exposure to viruses, Sophos recommends that
companies deploy a policy at their email gateway which blocks
unwanted executable attachments from being sent into their
organisation from the outside world. Companies should also run
up-to-date anti-virus software, firewalls and install the latest
The top ten hoaxes reported to Sophos during June 2005 were as
"The Hotmail hoax continues to be the most prevalent, increasing
this month to more than 20% of all reported hoaxes, " continued
Theriault. "The best advice for hoaxes hasn't changed: avoid
forwarding or responding to unsolicited emails. Instead, simply
delete them to save your business's bandwidth from being gobbled up
by this drivel."
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.