Sober-I Hits Hard, Nears Nov. Title Spot

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The Netsky-P worm finally has some competition when it comes to the worstbugs plaguing the Internet.

Sober.I, a mass-mailing variant of the Sober family of worms, placed highon several lists of the top viruses for November. Even though the bugwasn't even discovered in the Wild until Nov. 19, it still had plenty oftime to make it's mark.

''Arguably the only major virus outbreak of the fall season, Sober-I hadan immediate impact,'' says Steve Sundermeier, vice president of productsand services at Central Command, an anti-virus and anti-spam companybased in Medina, Ohio. ''Even though Sober-I was first discovered on thenineteenth, it had already closed in on Netsky.P, coming in second.''

One in 18 emails circulating in the month of November contained a virus,according to a report from Sophos, Inc., an anti-virus and anti-spamcompany based in Lynnfield, Mass.

Some of the anti-virus vendors release rankings of the worst viruses forthe past month. Rarely do they agree completely, but they offer a view ofwhat viruses, worms and Trojans are circling the Internet and causing themost trouble.

Central Command's list consists of Netsky-P, which accounts for 26.3percent of all malware in the Wild; Sober-I at 17.5 percent; Bagle-AT at11.6 percent, Bagle-AP at 9.1 percent and Zafi-B at 6.9 percent.

Sophos lists their top viruses as: Netsky-P with 24.2 percent; Sober-Iwith 20.4 percent; Zafi-B at 17.9 percent; Bagle-AU with 11 percent andNetsky-D with 4.4 percent.

MessageLabs, Inc., a managed email security company based in New York,lists their top malware as: MyDoom-A, Dumaru-A, Swen-A, Sobig-F andMimail-J.

''Sober-I and Bagle-AU proved to be a nuisance to many businesses andconsumers,'' says Gregg Mastoras, senior security analyst at Sophos.''Sober-I spreads via email and uses a variety of subject lines andmessage texts, many of which allude to important security or messaginginformation.

''Netsky-P and Zafi-B also claim top spots even though protection againstthem was made available as soon as they were first detected. If userstook precautionary measures, these earlier threats wouldn't be an issueany longer,'' adds Mastoras.

Sophos analysts report that they found 1,379 new viruses in November.

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