Top ten malware threats and hoaxes reported to Sophos in September 2006

Sophos Press Release

Number of new threats discovered doubles in September

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 September 2006.

The report, compiled from Sophos's global network of monitoring stations, reveals that Netsky-P continues its domination at the top of the charts, with the top five most prevalent pieces of malware retaining their position from last month. There were no new entries in September's chart and just one re-entry - MyDoom-AJ.

While the overall proportion of infected email has dropped to an all time low of just one in 300 (0.33%), the number of new threats continues to rise. In September Sophos identified 4,080 new threats, compared with just 1,998 in the previous month, bringing the total of malware protected against to 190,745. This clearly indicates that cyber criminals are increasingly moving away from mass mailed attacks in favour of more subtle and menacing attacks, targeted at just a small group of users.

The top ten list of malware in September 2006 reads as follows:

Position Last
Virus Percentage of reports
1 1 W32/Netsky-P
2 2 W32/Mytob-AS
3 3 W32/Bagle-Zip
4 4 W32/Nyxem-D
5 5 W32/Netsky-D
6 7 W32/Mytob-E
7 6 W32/Mytob-C
8= 9 W32/Zafi-B
8= 8 W32/MyDoom-O
10 Re-entry W32/MyDoom-AJ
Others 36.3%

"Internet criminals have had a busy September - producing twice as many new threats as they did in the previous month," said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant for Sophos. "The new malware we are detecting can be much more sinister than the old timers that dominate the chart. It often aims to steal sensitive data and information - something which can be extremely damaging to both a company's reputation and its bottom line. We recommend that all organisations should put in place a consolidated security solution that protects against both known and unknown malware threats."

Top ten hoaxes and chain letters in September 2006 were as follows:

Position Hoax Percentage of reports
1 Olympic torch
2 Hotmail hoax
3 WTC Survivor
4 Bonsai kitten
5 MSN is closing down
6 Bill Gates fortune
7 Meninas da Playboy
8 Justice for Jamie
9 A virtual card for you
10 Budweiser frogs screensaver
Others 53.5%

Graphics of the above top ten virus chart are available.

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