News Archive

E-mail Viruses

by msecadm4921

Nearly one in ten e-mails in August had viruses.

So says anti-computer virus firm Sophos in its report on the top ten viruses and hoaxes causing problems for businesses around the world.

The report, compiled from Sophos’s monitoring stations, shows that all of the top ten most frequently encountered viruses have been around for months. Number one in the chart – Zafi-B – has held top spot for the last three months. Carole Theriault, security consultant at Sophos, said: “Although we have seen a small, ten per cent, decline in reports of Zafi-B since last month, this email-aware worm doesn’t look like it’s going to fade into obscurity anytime soon. Protection against Zafi-B has been
available for a couple of months now, and computer users need to get into the habit of updating their systems in a much more timely manner, or this nuisance will continue to dominate reports.”

Sophos analysed and protected against 1,230 new viruses in August, the highest number of new viruses seen in one single month since December 2001. The total number of viruses Sophos now protects against is 93,875. Sophos figures show that over 9.3pc of emails circulating during the month of August were viral.

Doing the rounds

Theriault added: “Despite more than 1,200 new viruses being detected in August, not one has made it into the chart this month. In fact, the entire top ten is made of viruses which have been doing the rounds for weeks if not months. A few pesky Netsky variants are still flying around, despite the arrest of the worm’s alleged author a few months ago," continued Theriault. "There are two new entries to the hoax chart this month. The ‘T-Virus’ hoax caused quite a bit of confusion in August – an ill advised viral marketing ploy to promote a new video game, it used text messages telling phone users that they were infected by a virus. Meanwhile a phishing scam, the ‘bogus US bank email’, redirected innocent users to a website in Korea in an attempt to steal bank account details.” The company advises that you install anti-virus software on all of your desktops and servers, and ensure they are kept up to date. Because new viruses can spread extremely quickly, it is important to have an updating infrastructure in place which can update all the computers in your company seamlessly, frequently, and at short notice, the firm says. Sophos says it has made available a free, constantly updated information feed for intranets and websites for users to find out about the latest viruses and hoaxes.

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