The Top 10 Viruses: Zafi-B Still in Top Spot

LYNNFIELD, Mass. -- Sophos, a world leader in protecting businesses against spam and viruses, has published a report revealing the top ten viruses and hoaxes causing problems for businesses around the world.

The report, compiled from Sophos's global network of monitoring stations, shows that Zafi-B and Netsky-P are number one and two in the chart for the third consecutive month.

Sophos analyzed and protected against 1,150 new viruses in September. The total number of viruses Sophos now protects against is 95,025. Sophos figures show that over 6.6%, or one in 15 emails, circulating during the month of September were viral.

The top ten viruses in September 2004, and the month they were first seen, were as follows:
1. W32/Zafi-B 30.5% June 04
2. W32/Netsky-P 26.7% March 04
3. W32/Netsky-D 6.1% March 04
4. W32/Netsky-Z 5.5% April 04
5. W32/Bagle-AA 3.8% April 04
6. W32/MyDoom-O 3.6% July 04
7. W32/Netsky-B 3.5% February 04
8. W32/Netsky-Q 2.7% March 04
9. W32/Lovgate-V 2.6% April 04
10. W32/Netsky-C 2.0% February 04
Others 13.0%

"Zafi-B continues to maintain the top position on the chart and has since June," said Gregg Mastoras, senior security analyst at Sophos, Inc. "While reports of Zafi-B have declined over the last three months, it continues to plague computer users. Interestingly, reports of Netsky-P, the second most frequently seen virus of the month, are growing. IT professionals need to update their anti-virus protection and educate end users on the risks of virus infection."

The top ten hoaxes reported to Sophos during September are as follows:
1. Hotmail hoax 29.8%
2. WTC Survivor 11.0%
3. Meninas da Playboy 6.8%
4. Bonsai kitten 4.4%
5. A virtual card for you 3.0%
6. Jamie Bulger 2.8% RE-ENTRY
7. Budweiser frogs screensaver 2.7%
8. Bill Gates fortune 2.0%
9. T-Virus 1.5%
10. Lottery winner 1.2% NEW ENTRY
Others 34.8%

"This month introduces the 'lottery winner,' a new hoax to the chart," continued Mastoras. "The email hoax claims that the recipient has won a significant monetary prize. Unfortunately, when users attempt to claim the prize, it turns out to be a scam. End users must be cautious of any and all emails claiming a monetary prize and act judiciously in providing sensitive financial information."

Sophos has made available a free, constantly updated information feed for intranets and websites which means users can always find out about the latest viruses and hoaxes:

Graphics of the above top ten virus chart are available at:

For more information about safe computing, including anti-hoax policies, please visit: