Viruses, worms, trojans and other stuff

Monday, January 09, 2006

Sober-Z virus reaches pandemic proportions, reports Sophos

Sophos, a world leader in protecting businesses against viruses, spyware and spam, has revealed the top ten viruses and hoaxes causing problems for businesses around the world during the month of December 2005.

The report, compiled from Sophos's global network of monitoring stations, reveals that Sober-Z has taken the world by storm this month, accounting for a massive 78.92% of all malware reported to Sophos. Its domination of the charts is making other current threats pale in comparison, and the Sober threat shows no sign of slowing down.

The top ten viruses in December were as follows:

Position Last
month
Virus Percentage of reports
11W32/Sober-Z
78.9%
27W32/Zafi-B
3.3%
32W32/Netsky-P
2.3%
44W32/Mytob-EX
1.4%
5NewW32/Mytob-FO
1.2%
66W32/Mytob-BE
0.7%
7=W32/Zafi-D
0.6%
7=W32/Mytob-GH
0.6%
9=W32/Mytob-C
0.5%
9=W32/Mytob-FM
0.5%
Others 9.5%

The highly prolific Sober-Z worm sends itself as an email attachment and attempts to turn off security software on the user's computer. The author of this worm has been operating anonymously for more than two years, and this latest threat is the cyber criminal's most widespread virus yet.

"A key differentiator of the Sober worms is their ability to dupe users. From promising World Cup football tickets, to posing as the FBI or long-lost pal, it seems the Sober family will stop at nothing to ensure that recipients launch the viral email attachment," said Carole Theriault, senior security consultant at Sophos. "The Sober-Z worm stormed to the top of the November 2005 chart and continued to hold the number one spot throughout December. Should the author go ahead and upload malware onto websites for infected machines to grab and run, as anticipated, the worm may disrupt businesses even further."

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