Feeds

Sober worm tops May viral charts

Free World Cup offer is virus world's Crazy Frog

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

The new Sober-N worm, which poses as offers for free tickets for the 2006 World Cup, toppled Zafi-D as the most popular, sorry, prevalent virus on the internet last month.

Zafi-D, showing the sort of chart topping success that record industry execs would give their right nostril for, spent five straight months in the top spot before it was finally knocked off its perch in a chart compiled by anti-virus firm Sophos.

The bilingual Sober-N worm was detected at the beginning of the month and rapidly spread across 40 countries. Windows PCs infected with the worm were later used as a launch pad for a spamming campaign. The spam subject lines included 'Dresden Bombing Is To Be Regretted Enormously', 'Armenian Genocide Plagues Ankara 90 Years On', 'Dresden 1945' and 'Turkish Tabloid Enrages Germany with Nazi Comparisons'.

A mass mailing worm accompanied by a backdoor Trojan, MyTob-AZ, was the other new entry of Sophos's May charts, coming in at number six. Sophos identified and protected against 1,515 new viruses in May. The total number of viruses Sophos now protects against is 104,784. Its research shows that 2.62 per cent of emails circulating in May 2005 were viral, slightly up on April 2005.

By contrast security appliance firm Fortinet reports a 20 per cent decrease in virus prevalence last month compared to April. Of the new malicious codes detected by Fortinet in May 2005, approximately 33 per cent were Trojans (including backdoors), 33 per cent were network worms (worms which propagate through the network via exploits, networks shares and Instant Messengers), and 2 per cent were mass-mailing worms.

Incidents of new Trojans dropped 3 per cent over the course of last month, following a 20 per cent decrease from March-April). This brings the overall percentage of Trojans detected in May to pre-February levels, according to Fortinet. Most virus writing activity focused on the creating of bots, malicious code capable of commandeering infected PCs. ®

Top 10 computer viruses, according to Sophos

  1. Sober-N
  2. Zafi-D
  3. NetSky-P
  4. NetSky-D
  5. Zafi-B
  6. MyTob-AZ
  7. MyTob-Z
  8. NetSky-Z
  9. MyTob-E
  10. NetSky-N

Related stories

Sober worm shakes Windows security
Sober infected PCs spew right-wing 'hate spam'
The strange decline of computer worms
Undead worms infest Windows PCs (again)

Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL

More from The Register

next story
Spies would need SUPER POWERS to tap undersea cables
Why mess with armoured 10kV cables when land-based, and legal, snoop tools are easier?
Early result from Scots indyref vote? NAW, Jimmy - it's a SCAM
Anyone claiming to know before tomorrow is telling porkies
TOR users become FBI's No.1 hacking target after legal power grab
Be afeared, me hearties, these scoundrels be spying our signals
Jihadi terrorists DIDN'T encrypt their comms 'cos of Snowden leaks
Intel bods' analysis concludes 'no significant change' after whistle was blown
Home Depot: 56 million bank cards pwned by malware in our tills
That's about 50 per cent bigger than the Target tills mega-hack
Hackers pop Brazil newspaper to root home routers
Step One: try default passwords. Step Two: Repeat Step One until success
China hacked US Army transport orgs TWENTY TIMES in ONE YEAR
FBI et al knew of nine hacks - but didn't tell TRANSCOM
Microsoft to patch ASP.NET mess even if you don't
We know what's good for you, because we made the mess says Redmond
NORKS ban Wi-Fi and satellite internet at embassies
Crackdown on tardy diplomatic sysadmins providing accidental unfiltered internet access
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL
Discussing the vulnerabilities inherent in Wi-Fi networks, and how using TLS/SSL for your entire site will assure security.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.