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Mytob worm onslaught fills July virus charts

By Steve Malone

Posted on 2 Aug 2005 at 10:39

The Mytob worm is dominating the virus charts for July. Variants accounted for seven of the top ten positions and over 37 per cent of all viruses reported to Sophos in July. The popularity - if that is the right word - of Mytob is confirmed by the list compiled by Kaspersky Labs. Half of the most prevalent viruses in the top 20 were Mytob variants.

'The Mytob army of malware is one of the biggest we have ever seen,' said Carole Theriault, a Sophos spokesperson.. 'The sheer volume and range of the Mytob worms sees them hog most positions in the virus chart. It's not the viciousness of the worm that is the problem, but the constant onslaught of slightly differing variants,'

Sophos warns though that Mytob is becoming more sophisticated. According to the company some new variants of the worm now use the techniques where an email message directs recipients to a website. When they arrive at the site, malicious code automatically downloads the Mytob worm.

And with unfortunate timing, last years most widespread virus, Netsky, made a comeback last month just as its original author Sven Jaschan was convicted in German court at the beginning of the month. A Netsky variant has made it to the top of the listings in both the Sophos and the Kapersky charts with 13.9 and 14.67 per cent of the total reported infections respectively. In fact overall it was a busy month for Netsky variants in 1st, 7th, 9th and 12th place in the Kapersky charts.

However, there is no suggestion that Jaschan is still releasing versions of his baby. The current variations in the world have been tweaked by script kiddies.

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