While computer users guarded against two new viruses (Bound, Caricature), two old ones (Klez, Badtrans) wreaked havoc, according to security specialist Sophos.

"It isn't just the newer viruses with higher profiles that users should be looking out for," said Chris Wraight, a consultant with the Lynnfield, Mass., firm. "Just because a virus isn't hitting the headlines doesn't mean it isn't continuing to cause problems."

The latest variant of Klez is spread through e-mail attachments and replicates itself by sending through an infected user's address book. Badtrans first detected in November, has a similar modus operandi.

The new e-mail worms did however wriggle into Sophos list of 10 most reported viruses. Caricature (eighth) and Bound (fourth) attempt to con users into triggering their destructive programs.

Caricature poses as a screen saver of Bill Clinton while Bound masquerades as a security patch. Once again, both of these worms can be protected against with anti-virus software and safe computing practices, Sophos said.

In all, 510 new viruses were discovered and protected against by Sophos during March 2002. The total number of viruses Sophos now detects and protects against is 73,079.

The top 10 viruses for March, as reported by Sophos are: 

1. W32/Klez-G (Klez variant) 23.7% 2. W32/Badtrans-B (Badtrans variant) 22.8% 3. W32/Magistr-B (Magistr variant) 6.9% 4. W32/Fbound-C (Bound variant) 6.8% 5. W32/Sircam-A (Sircam) 4.8% 6. W32/Magistr-A (Magistr) 3.6% 7. W32/Gibe-A (Gibe) 3.0% 8. W32/Caric-A (Caricature) 2.1% 9. W32/Hybris-B (Hybris variant) 1.7% 10. W32/Klez-E (Klez variant) 1.5% Others: 23.1%

Mp> This story was first published on boston.internet.com, an internet.com site.