SirCam tops viruses for August

The e-mail virus SirCam accounted for nearly 50% of all infections during August, according to figures from Sophos. The much talked about Code Red virus trailed in in ninth place, responsible for 1.2% of infections.

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By  Zoe Moleshead Published  September 4, 2001

Although the Code Red virus may be garnering all the headlines, the SirCam virus is still the most prevalent accounting for nearly 50% of all infections last month.

SirCam’s programming allows it to constantly change its name, and therefore making it difficult to detect. The e-mail virus also minimises detection by generating its own e-mail client.

“Unlike the Lovebug or Melissa it [SirCam] didn’t hit hard when it was first released, but now is still around in huge numbers months later,” Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos told

The e-mail virus has continued to spread despite the availability of patches since July. Sophos revealed SirCam was responsible for 49.8% of August infections, while another familiar virus, Magistr claimed the second spot with 13%.

“You begin to ask just how many times I need to say this before people start taking these threats seriously,” added Cluley.

Code Red took the ninth spot in Sophos’ list with only 1.2% of infections, while other entrants in the top ten include Sadmind, Hybris-B, Apology-B and Kakworm.

Code Red, however, is proving one of the costliest viruses though. According to Computer Economics’ research, Code Red has cost companies $2.6 billion, while SirCam has hit companies for $1.03 billion.

The cost of the viruses is calculated using the loss of productivity and downtime, with the total costs to companies so far this year totalling $10.7 billion.

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