Sophos, a leader in corporate anti-virus solutions, announced the latest in a series of monthly charts counting down the ten most frequently occurring viruses and hoaxes as compiled by the company.

For October 2002, the virus chart is as follows, with the most frequently occurring virus at number one:

1. W32/Bugbear-A (Bugbear worm) 77.6% NEW ENTRY
2. W32/Klez-H (Klez variant) 6.2%
3. W32/Opaserv-A (Opaserv worm) 2.5% NEW ENTRY
4. W32/Yaha-E (Yaha variant) 1.1%
5. W32/Badtrans-B (Badtrans variant) 0.8%
6=.W32/Nimda-D (Nimda variant) 0.7%
6=.W32/Opaserv-C (Opaserv variant) 0.7% NEW ENTRY
6=.W32/Opaserv-D (Opaserv variant) 0.7% NEW ENTRY
9. W32/Elkern-C (Elkern variant) 0.6%
10.W32/Opaserv-B (Opaserv variant) 0.5% NEW ENTRY
Others: 8.6%

"After seven months at the top, Klez-H has finally been knocked off its perch by the Bugbear worm," said Chris Wraight, technology consultant at Sophos, Inc. "Bugbear is a box of tricks that not only spreads via e-mail and network shares but can also log the victim's keystrokes – allowing hackers to monitor everything a user types from passwords to bank account details."

Sophos detected 824 new viruses, worms and Trojan horses in October.

The top ten hoaxes reported to Sophos during October 2002 are as follows:

1. JDBGMGR 35.7%
2. Budweiser frogs screensaver 6.5%
3=.Meninas da Playboy 4.4%
3=.Hotmail hoax 4.4%
5=.A virtual card for you 3.3%
5=.Bill Gates fortune 3.3%
7. Frog in a blender/Fish in a bowl 2.7%
8. WTC Survivor 2.6%
9. JS/Exploit 1.7%
10.Applebees Gift Certificate 1.6%
Others: 33.8%

To lessen the impact of these bogus virus warnings, Sophos advises all businesses to implement an anti-hoax policy. This should specify that all virus warnings, whatever their source, are centrally coordinated by one member of staff who is responsible for confirming whether they are real or fake.

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