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 November 2006.
The figures, compiled from Sophos's global network of monitoring
stations, show that the W32/Stratio-Zip worm
has overtaken W32/Netsky-P as the most
widely circulated piece of malware, accounting for one third of the
total number of reports.
Sophos experts note that on the launch date of Microsoft's
Windows Vista operating system, three of the top ten - including
Stratio-Zip - are capable of bypassing the operating system's
security defences and infecting users' PCs. The Vista-resistant
malware - W32/Stratio-Zip,
comprise 39.7% of all malware currently circulating.
The top ten list of malware in November 2006 reads as
Sophos tested each piece of malware in the top ten on the Vista
operating system to establish whether users running Vista without
any third-party security software would avoid infection.
The results showed that while the Windows Mail email client
(Vista's upgrade of Outlook) was able to identify and halt all of
the threats, W32/Stratio-Zip,
each of which are commonly disseminated via email - were able to
bypass the defences when accessed via a third-party web email
client. This represents a serious issue for businesses who allow
employees to access their personal email at work, as well as for
companies that are considering adopting an alternative email
"There has been much speculation about whether Vista would
render existing malware extinct, and the news is now in - it
won't," said Carole
Theriault, senior security consultant at Sophos. "While
Microsoft should be commended for the huge security improvements it
has made in Vista, running separate security software is still
essential to eliminate the risk of infection. On top of this, cyber
criminals will already be looking at creating Vista-specific
malware. Users need to think carefully about whether their current
solution is going to offer sufficient protection against such
emerging threats, given that some vendors continue to experience
problems adapting their software for the Vista operating
Sophos Anti-Virus for Windows Vista was
released in November 2006.
The proportion of infected email continues to remain low, at
just one in 357 (0.28%), while during November Sophos identified a
record number of new threats - 7,612 - bringing the total number of
malware protected against to 201,433.
The top ten hoaxes and chain letters in November 2006 were as
Graphics of the above top ten malware chart are available.