News

Internet plagued by old security threats

Antony Savvas

Old internet security threats are continuing to plague the web, indicating that users are not doing enough to protect themselves.

Internet security software company Sophos has published the top 10 malware threats causing problems for computer users around the world during August 2006.

The report reveals little movement, with last month's four most prevalent pieces of malware retaining their positions. 

There are no new entries in August's chart, with one re-entry, the Mytob-E worm, which last appeared in the chart in May 2005. 

This month's top two - Netsky-P and Mytob-AS - were also the most common in August 2005. 

Sophos says that a large number of computers connected to the internet are simply not protected against threats, which suggests that education on IT security is not making a global impact. 

Protection against Netsky-P has been available for more than two years, yet it remains the most widespread e-mail worm.

Just one in 278 (0.4%) of e-mails are now infected by viruses, which was a significant decrease compared to August 2005, when one in every 50 e-mails circulating were viral. 

However, Sophos identified 1,998 new threats in August, bringing the total number of malware programs that can be protected against to 186,665. 

Sophos said the majority of the new threats (71.8%) were Trojan horses, which in most cases, are specifically targeted at particular groups of people and do not spread on their own.

The top ten 10 of malware in August 2006 was:

 1. Netsky-P             19.9%
 2. Mytob-AS           15.8%
 3. Bagle-Zip             8%
 4. Nyxem-D             6.4%
 5. Netsky-D             4.4%
 6. Mytob-C              4.1%
 7. Mytob-E               3.2% re-entry
 8. Mydoom-O          3%
 9. Zafi-B                   2.7%
10. Mytob-FO           1.5%

    Others                   31%


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