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Sophos Unveils May's Top 10 Threats

Sophos has revealed the most prevalent malware threats causing problems for computer users around the world in May 2007

BOSTON -- Sophos, a world leader in IT security and control, has revealed the most prevalent malware threats causing problems for computer users around the world in May 2007.

The figures compiled by Sophos's global network of monitoring stations show that infected web pages continue to pose a threat, affecting official government websites as well as other legitimate pages.

Highlights for the month of May 2007:

9,500 new infected web pages discovered daily - an increase of more than 1,000 every day compared to April 304,000 web pages hosting malicious code were identified Mal/IFrame-F continued to dominate top10 by injecting malicious code onto legitimate web pages China maintained number one slot on the top 10 chart, responsible for hosting more than 50 percent of infected web pages identified by Sophos

Top 10 web-based malware threats:

    1. Mal/Iframe - 65.5%

    2. JS/EncIFra - 6.9%

    3. Troj/Decdec - 6.5%

    4. Troj/Fujif - 3.7%

    5. Troj/Ifradv - 3.0%

    6. VBS/Redlof - 2.2%

    7. Mal/ObfJS - 1.8%

    8. Troj/Psyme - 1.2%

    9. VBS/Roor - 1.0%

    10. VBS/Soraci - 0.9%

    Others - 7.3%

Iframe, which works by injecting malicious code onto legitimate web pages, continues to dominate the chart, accounting for almost two-thirds of all web-based threats in May. The three newcomers Redlof, Roor and Soraci, are all appending viruses, infecting, amongst others, HTM, HTML and HTT files. The appearance of these relatively old viruses (for example, Sophos has provided protection against Soraci for two years) in the chart, illustrates that many web administrators are failing to keep their websites safe from hackers intent on compromising their pages.

"Each month, we are seeing an increase in attacks spreading over the internet, and they continue to cause problems for organizations,” said Ron O’Brien, senior security analyst at Boston-based Sophos. “Malicious sites do not need to host malware to be dangerous. Our Labs are also seeing and blocking access to 600 new phishing pages each day.”

Top 10 countries hosting malware-infected web pages:

    1. China (incl HK) - 53.2%

    2. United States - 27.4%

    3. Germany - 5.1%

    4. Russia - 3.5%

    5. Thailand - 1.1%

    6. Ukraine - 1.0%

    7. United Kingdom - 0.9%

    8. Taiwan - 0.8%

    9. Canada - 0.6%

    10. S Korea - 0.5%

    Others - 5.9%

China continues to dominate due to increased reports of Iframe, which has been widely reported on unprotected Chinese web pages. Thailand has entered the chart for the first time at number five. Sophos research found that many of the infected web pages hosted in Thailand are on government websites that have been infected by malware.

"It’s a bit worrisome that malware is being found even on legitimate government websites,“ continued O’Brien. “It goes to show that any organization can be hit if it is not adequately protected. For those who surf the web, they need to make sure that their anti-virus and security patches are always up-to-date, and they should talk to their administrator or ISP about blocking access to infected websites."

Top 10 email-based malware threats:

    1. W32/Sober - 29.0%

    2. W32/Netsky - 26.9%

    3. W32/Mytob - 13.1%

    4. W32/Stratio - 6.1%

    5. W32/MyDoom - 4.1%

    6. W32/Zafi - 3.9%

    =7. Mal/Behav - 3.8%

    =7. W32/Sality - 3.8%

    9. W32/Bagle - 3.3%

    10. W32/Nyxem - 1.8%

    Others - 4.2%

In May, Sober was the most prevalent email-borne attack, toppling Netsky from its top position and accounting for almost one-third of all threats. Sober's dominance in the chart is primarily due to a huge outbreak on May 1 that coincided with May Day across Europe. During this 24-hour period, Sober accounted for nearly 70 percent of all infected email identified by Sophos.

Sophos plc

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