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Postini Records Massive Virus Growth

Posted: 02nd Jun, 2005 By: MarkJ
Last month (May) saw a staggering 381% surge in the number of virus-infected email messages being sent around the Internet. Much of the growth has been put down to the recent 'Sober' infection:

Sober worm traffic reached an all-time high from May 3-7, when the percentage of emails containing the Sober virus (14 per cent) was higher than the percentage of legitimate emails (13 per cent).

Postini also protected its customers from more than 33 million directory harvest attacks (DHAs), or an average of 243 per customer every day. This is a 30 per cent increase compared to April’s average of 191 DHAs by spammers against corporate email per day. May 3, one of the most active days for the Sober worm, was also the most active day for DHAs, with 1,620,666 attacks.

“Sober worm traffic in May was staggering, representing a higher percentage of email messages than legitimate emails for a period of four days,” said Andrew Lochart, senior director of marketing at Postini. “New viruses and new variants of existing viruses constantly threaten enterprise networks, increasing the need for advanced managed service capabilities to protect the corporate email environment.”

The top ten viruses for May were:

Virus Name Quantity Detected

1. Sober 142,811,816
2. mytob 14,049,271
3. netsky 10,927,378
4. mime 5,613,976
5. bankfraud 2,512,716
6. zafi 1,833,049
7. mydoom 1,356,954
8. lovgate 1,258,967
9. bagle 889,627
10. new malware-e 875,568


Typically earlier months have actually been comparatively quite, thus the sudden emergence of a new and more prevalent virus was likely to tip the scales in a more dramatic fashion.
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