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Thu 6 May 2004 04:00 AM

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Netsky tops the virus charts

Netsky variants dominated last month’s virus “chart” with security firm Sophos reporting that seven out of the 10 most commonly reported viruses were Netsky strains.

Netsky variants dominated last month’s virus “chart” with security firm Sophos reporting that seven out of the 10 most commonly reported viruses were Netsky strains.

Netsky-P proved to be the most troublesome in April, making up just over 23% of all reports, 3% ahead of earlier strain Netsky-B, but D, C, J and T all made the company’s chart.

“With the author of the original Netsky worm claiming to have shared the viral code its possible that copycats might be getting their paws dirty by sending out new Netsky variants,” said Carole Theriault, security consultant for Sophos.

In total, Sophos analysed and protected against 740 new viruses in April, bringing the total number of viruses it guards against up to 89,852.

The company also keeps a record of hoaxes, and reported that the hotmail hoax, in which hotmail account users are encouraged to forward mails to show their accounts are still active was the most common. A new entry to the list was the Nigerian letter scam. “Several versions of this letter exist, all designed to defraud and extort money from e-mail users,” said Theriault. Sophos advises users to simply delete such hoax mails.

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