Admins waiting for next worm to drop

Anxious network administrators and security officers are waiting for what many say is an inevitable response to new flaws in Windows.

September was a pretty quiet month for viruses and worms, but security pros and administrators were still anxious.

Perhaps the biggest malware news for the month were the worms that didn't appear. People were waiting for worms to take advantage of two new RPC-DCOM vulnerabilities in Windows. In August, two worms, Blaster and Nachi, took advantage of a similar flaw.

Sobig-F also stopped spreading on Sept. 10, which meant users were waiting for a new variant of the worm, which has spread this year, creating open relays for spammers. Despite being around for only a third of the month, Sobig-F topped at least one antivirus company's list for most prevalent malicious code for September.

"The fact that all four of last month's big hitters -- Sobig-F, Blaster, Mimail and Nachi -- are still in the top 10, despite extensive media coverage, is also concerning. It means some people are still either ignoring advisories to patch or are still oblivious to the threat," said Chris Belthoff, senior security analyst at Sophos Inc.

One worm writer tried to capitalize on users' fears. In fact, Swen (also known as Gibe-F or Gibe-C) traveled during September attached to an e-mail purporting to be a security patch from Microsoft support. The worm gained the most traction of any worm that broke in September.

Here are a sampling of how antivirus software vendors ranked September's malware.

Sophos:

1. W32/Gibe-F (Gibe variant) 23.5%
2. W32/Dumaru-A (Dumaru virus) 18.1%
3. W32/Mimail-A (Mimail worm) 15.0%
4. W32/Sobig-F (Sobig variant) 5.6%
5. W32/Nachi-A (Nachi worm) 5.5%
6. W32/Sobig-A (Sobig worm) 4.4%
7. W32/Bugbear-B (Bugbear variant) 2.9%
8 W32/Klez-H (Klez variant) 2.7%
8. W32/Blaster-A (Blaster worm) 2.7%
10. W32/Parite-B (Parite variant) 1.3%
Others 18.3%

Kaspersky Labs:

1. I-Worm.Sobig 44.75%
2. I-Worm.Swen 36.50%
3. I-Worm.Mimail 6.50%
4. I-Worm.Klez 2.52%
5. I-Worm.Lentin 2.35%
6. I-Worm.Tanatos 0.81%
7. I-Worm.Dumaru 0.68%
8. Worm.Win32.Lovesan 0.35%
9. Worm.P2P.SpyBot 0.14%
10. Win95.CIH 0.11%
11. Backdoor.SdBot 0.09%
12. I-Worm.Ganda 0.09%
13. VBS.Redlof 0.08%
14. Win32.Parite 0.08%
15. Worm.Win32.Welchia 0.08%
16. Win32.FunLove 0.08%
17. I-Worm.Roron 0.07%
18. Backdoor.Optix.Pro 0.07%
19. I-Wom.Fizzer 0.07%
20. Macro.Word97.Thus 0.05%
Other malicious programs 4.52%

Central Command:


1. Worm/Sobig.F 67.5%
2. Worm/Gibe.C 8.6%
3. Worm/Nachi.A 3.9%
4. Worm/Dumaru.A 3.7%
5. Worm/Klez.E (including G) 3.0%
6. Worm/MiMail.A 2.9%
7. Worm/Lovsan.A 1.8%
8. Worm/BugBear.B 1.7%
9. Worm/Sobig.A 1.0%
10. Worm/Sircam.A 0.5%
11. W32/Funlove 0.5%
12. W32/Yaha.E 0.3%
Others 4.6%

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