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3,297 viruses in six months

3,279 new viruses were discovered in the first six months of 2002. The most prevalent virus was Klez-H, which accounted for 29.4% of all reported virus incidents.

3,279 new viruses were discovered in the first six months of 2002, according to anti-virus protection company Sophos. During the first half of the year, the most prevalent virus was Klez-H, which accounted for 29.4% of all reported virus incidents. All ten of the most prolific viruses for 2002 thus far have been targeted at Windows 32.

"What we see here is a clean sweep for Windows 32 viruses, taking every position of the top 10 chart," says Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant, Sophos Anti-Virus. "The days when Word macro and script viruses caused the most infections seem to be long gone. Worms and viruses that spread using networking functions or email clients currently dominate enquiries to our customer support."

Close behind Klez-H in the popularity stakes was Badtrans-B, which accounted for 23.5% of all reported viruses, while ElKern-C came a distant third with a paltry 6.3%. Even worse was the much-hyped SirCam-A virus, which made up only 2.8% of reports and languished in seventh place for the six-month list.

"As expected, Klez-H tops the chart. Klez-H is a sobering reminder that viruses continue to present a serious threat, and that it is vital enterprises follow safe computing practices and keep anti-virus protection updated," explains Cluley.

"However, Klez-H wasn't the only big hitter. Badtrans-B, Magistr, Nimda and Sircam, which were all released during 2001, were an ugly hangover for many users well into this year," he adds.

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