Sophos, a world leader in IT security, has revealed the most
prevalent malware threats and hoaxes causing problems for computer
users around the world during October 2006.
The report, compiled from Sophos's global network of monitoring
stations, shows that while the well-known Netsky-P has proved once
again to be the most prevalent piece of malware in circulation,
variants of the Stratio worm (also known as Stration or Warezov)
have entered the top ten for the first time. Several hundred
variants of the worm were widely spammed out during the month, on
some days accounting for more than 50% of all reported malware.
Sophos experts note that on the one-year anniversary of Get Safe
Online - the UK's national campaign to raise awareness about
the risks of leaving computers unprotected online - established
virus families such as Netsky, Mytob and Zafi continue to cause
havoc for internet users, despite protection having long been
The proportion of infected email continues to remain low, at
just one in 300 (0.34%), while during October Sophos identified
3,076 new threats, bringing the total number of malware protected
against to 193,821.
"This is like a new dog employing old tricks - Stratio has made
it into the top ten because it used numerous social engineering
tactics and has been aggressively spammed out," said Carole Theriault, senior
security consultant for Sophos. "Home users who haven't installed
or updated their anti-malware protection remain the most vulnerable
targets, and if old-timers like Netsky and Mytob are still getting
through users' defenses, it's a sure bet that new malware is doing
the same thing. Given these circumstances you have to ask, are
awareness campaigns like Get Safe Online really having the intended
impact? We're still awaiting firm evidence that they have actually
connected with the general public."
The top ten hoaxes and chain letters in October 2006 were as
Graphics of the above top ten malware chart are available.