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BugBear tops virus charts as Klez refuses to die

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The nasty BugBear worm finally displaced the irksome Klez-H as the most common virus circulating on the Internet this month.

That's according to monthly statistics from managed services firm MessageLabs, which show it blocked 576,286 copies of BugBear over the last four weeks. MessageLabs stopped Klez-H, the next most common virus (and most prolific pathogen ever), 484,647 times.

MessageLabs reports that virus infection rates are running at around one per 320 emails, compared to one in 30 infected emails at the heights of the Goner and Love Bug epidemics.

Old favourites like Yaha-E (with 197,534 infection-bearing emails stopped) and SirCam (with 25,690 infection-bearing emails stopped, and Klez-E (32,307) also feature prominently in the managed services firm's monthly stats.

A monthly chart of virus reports compiled by antivirus vendor Sophos tells a similar story. The Opaserv worm features prominently in its chart, but the clear leader is the BugBear worm, which accounted for more than three in four (77.6 per cent) of calls to Sophos' support centre.

Last month we reported the theory that the appearance of BugBear, which among its nasty tricks plants a Trojan and a key logger on the victim's PCs, might be a blessing in disguise. A theory popular at the recent Virus Bulletin conference in New Orleans was that, after a quiet year on the virus front, a major virus scare might be the only thing that'd encourage home users in particular to update their AV protection. This, it was argued, might curtail the spread of Klez-H, incidents of which have been growing steadily for months (raising the prevalence of viruses overall or the noise floor) but never at such an alarming rate that it would force Harry Homeowner into action. (Er, this sounds dangerously close to a conspiracy - Ed)

BugBear (which appeared late last month) might generate enough alarm to provoke a general "klean up" of the Klez worm, it was hoped.

In the early days of this month, incidents of Klez did indeed drop but now daily statistics from MessageLabs provide evidence it is once again the most commonly found virus circulating the Net, cropping up almost three times more often than BugBear over the last 24 hours. ®

Top ten viruses blocked by MessageLabs in October


  1. BugBear
  2. Klez-H
  3. Yaha-E
  4. SirCam-A
  5. Klez-E
  6. Magistr-B
  7. Yaha-C
  8. Hybris-B
  9. Magistr-A
  10. Greeting Card-A


Related stories

BugBear - nasty email virus
Stupid Bugbear tricks
Worms turn on Win/Linux users
Klez-H enjoying its final days on infamy?
Viruses are dead. Long live viruses!

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