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This morning Sophos published details of the most prevalent malware threats and hoaxes that have been causing problems for users of its IT security products across the globe during the month of September 2006. Interestingly, despite the sadly predictable news that the number of new threats discovered by Sophos had doubled compared to the previous month, there were no new entries in the chart, one re-entry, and the top five retained their exact positions from August.

The good news is that the overall proportion of infected email has dropped to an all time low of just one in 300, or 0.33%, according to Sophos. Unfortunately, it also identified 4,080 new threats, compared with just 1,998 in the previous month, bringing the total of malware protected against to 190,745. What this would clearly seem to indicate, at least based on this particular set of statistics, is that those involved in cyber crime are moving away from mass mailed attacks in favour of a more targeted approach focussing on small groups of users.

Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant for Sophos, told us "the new malware we are detecting can be much more sinister than the old timers that dominate the chart. It often aims to steal sensitive data and information - something that can be extremely damaging to both a company's reputation and its bottom line. We recommend that all organizations should put in place a consolidated security solution that protects against both known and unknown malware threats."

The top ten list of malware in September 2006 reads as follows:

  • 1. Netsky-P (18.4%)
  • 2. Mytob-AS (14.1%)
  • 3. Bagle-Zip (6.3%)
  • 4. Nyxem-D (5.4%)
  • 5. Netsky-D (5.3%)
  • 6. Mytob-E (3.0%)
  • 7. Mytob-C (2.9%)
  • =8. Zafi-B (2.8%)
  • =8. MyDoom-O (2.8%)
  • 10. MyDoom-AJ (2.7%)

The top ten hoaxes and chain letters in September 2006 were as follows:

  • 1. Olympic torch (8.5%)
  • 2. Hotmail hoax (8.2%)
  • 3. WTC Survivor (7.9%)
  • 4. Bonsai kitten (4.5%)
  • 5. MSN is closing down (4.1%)
  • 6. Bill Gates fortune (3.2%)
  • 7. Meninas da Playboy (3.0%)
  • 8. Justice for Jamie (2.6%)
  • 9. A virtual card for you (2.5%)
  • 10.Budweiser frogs (2.0%)

As Editorial Director and Managing Analyst with IT Security Thing I am putting more than two decades of consulting experience into providing opinionated insight regarding the security threat landscape for IT security professionals. As an Editorial Fellow with Dennis Publishing, I bring more than two decades of writing experience across the technology industry into publications such as Alphr, IT Pro and (in good old fashioned print) PC Pro. I also write for SC Magazine UK and Infosecurity, as well as The Times and Sunday Times newspapers. Along the way I have been honoured with a Technology Journalist of the Year award, and three Information Security Journalist of the Year awards. Most humbling, though, was the Enigma Award for 'lifetime contribution to IT security journalism' bestowed on me in 2011.

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Last Post by happygeek
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And, like London buses, two come along at once.

Here is the Kaspersky Lab virus top twenty for September 2006 that has just landed in my mailbox:

  • 1 Net-Worm.Win32.Mytob.c (20.00%)
  • 2 Email-Worm.Win32.Nyxem.e (16.22%)
  • 3 +1 Email-Worm.Win32.LovGate.w (9.71%)
  • 4 New Email-Worm.Win32.Scano.gen (5.88%)
  • 5 -2 Email-Worm.Win32.NetSky.b (5.45%)
  • 6 +3 Net-Worm.Win32.Mytob.t (5.08%)
  • 7 -2 Net-Worm.Win32.Mytob.u (3.62%)
  • 8 New Email-Worm.Win32.Scano.aq (2.52%)
  • 9 +7 Email-Worm.Win32.NetSky.t (2.40%)
  • 10 -3 Net-Worm.Win32.Mytob.w (1.63%)
  • 11 -3 Email-Worm.Win32.NetSky.y (1.56%)
  • 12 -6 Net-Worm.Win32.Mytob.q (1.48%)
  • 13 -1 Trojan-Spy.HTML.Bankfraud.od (1.44%)
  • 14 -4 Net-Worm.Win32.Mytob.cg (1.33%)
  • 15 New Trojan-Spy.HTML.Bayfraud.io (1.25%)
  • 16 Return Net-Worm.Win32.Mytob.ar (1.21%)
  • 17 -6 Net-Worm.Win32.Mytob.a (1.15%)
  • 18 -1 Net-Worm.Win32.Mytob.h (1.13%)
  • 19 -6 Email-Worm.Win32.NetSky.x (1.09%)
  • 20 New Net-Worm.Win32.Mytob.dam (0.95%)
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