Zafi-D is world’s worst virus

ZAFI-D has been named by Sophos as the world’s worst malware virus — taking over from 2004’s most prolific offender Netsky-P.

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By  Diana Milne Published  January 8, 2006

ZAFI-D has been named by Sophos as the world’s worst malware virus — taking over from 2004’s most prolific offender Netsky-P. The Sophos annual security report reveals that the number of new threats has risen by 48% and names Zafi-D as top of the virus league with Netsky-P dropping down to second place. Sober-Z, which was only unleashed in November 2005, has already reached third position and continues to disrupt networks worldwide. “The old viruses are still taking advantage of poorly protected computers in 2005,” said Mohammad Noraiee, managing director at Al Adeeb IT — Sophos’s main distributor, adding that, “The Zafi family of viruses accounts for the worst malware of year 2005.” “Perhaps the success of these worms lies in their ability to spread in multiple languages, catching out a way for users all over the world,” Noraiee stated. He went on to claim the proliferation of computer viruses across the globe was the work of criminal gangs targeting their victims to make a profit. “This huge increase stems from the escalating interest in authorising Trojans, worms and viruses shown by criminal gangs intent on making a profit,” Noraiee added. “By focusing their efforts on a smaller number of victims, cybercriminals can target them with bespoke malware, increasing their chances of slipping under the security net,” he noted. The report reveals that unprotected computers have a 40% chance of being infected by an internet worm within ten minutes of being left unattended. The top ten threats were, in order: Zafi-D, Netsky-P, Sober-Z, Sober-N, Zafi-B, Mytob-BE, Mytob-AS, Netsky-D, Mytob-GH and Mytob-EP. Although all the leading thre- ats named in the report are wo- rm viruses, the overall number of Trojans written in 2005 outweighed worms by nearly 2:1. In addition, the amount of malware that also includes spyware components, has risen from 54.2% in January to 66.4% by the end of the year. Experts claimed this reinforced the view that malware authors are conducting targeted attacks rather than carrying out widespread bombardment of random computers. “Trojans cannot replicate on their own, meaning they must be deliberately e-mailed or planted on web sites in order to spread,” added Noraiee. “It’s more and more common for new Trojans to become widespread after being spam-med en masse from Zombie computers,” he continued. “Therefore, users should not only be suspicious of unsolicited e-mail in any language. Instead they should ensure up to date anti-virus protection is in place to thump these viruses,” he went on to advise.

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