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Thu 5 Apr 2007 04:24 PM

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Veteran malware tops threat list

Netsky has made a return to the top of the malware charts, accounting for nearly a third of all malware threats last month, according to research firm Sophos.

Netsky has made a return to the top of the malware charts, accounting for nearly a third of all malware threats last month, according to research firm Sophos.

Despite protection against the Netsky family being available for more than three years, it was the most prevalent malware threat in March, according to a report by the security firm.

The Netsky family had dominated the malware charts until November last year when it was surpassed by the Stration malware family.

"Unwanted e-mails hiding copies of Netsky are still spreading like weeds in an untended garden, showing how well seeded these mass-mailing threats are," said Carole Theriault, senior security consultant at Sophos.

"It's frustrating to think that there are a bunch of new threats out there that are much more targeted and devious in their approach, yet how can we expect the average computer user to protect against them when the Netskys and Mytobs remain so rooted?" she added.

Netsky was closely followed by Mytob in the March rankings, which accounted for 30.4% of all malware. Sality, with a much lower 7.8%, came third.

In the report, Sophos noted there had been a shift in the transmission of malware, with hackers continuing to move away from mass-mailing worms in favour of using spam messages with links pointing to infected web pages.

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