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Klez spread continued in December

The worm found success during the holidays because of its ability to modify subject lines in accordance with the time of year.

Klez resurfaced as the most prevalent virus in December.

"With the ability to modify its subject line corresponding to the time of the year and e-mail inboxes full of holiday wishes, it comes as no surprise that Worm/Klez.E retains its No. 1 spot for December," said Steven Sundermeier product manager at Central Command, Inc. The company found versions of the worm which used seasonal titles such as "Merry Christmas" and "Happy nice New Year" to entice users into opening the attached copy of itself.

Klez, which surfaced in April, topped many of the leading antivirus companies' listings for December. It beat out Bugbear, another strong worm, which surfaced in October.

"Two worms account for more than a quarter of all support inquiries we receive at Sophos. Klez, the biggest virus of 2002, and Bugbear continue to cause users problems even though protection against them is simple," said Chris Wraight, technology consultant, Sophos, Inc.

Yaha.K (also known as Yaha.M), which was discovered around Dec. 21 made its way onto a few of the antivirus companies' lists. Several versions of the Opaserv worm also showed up on several of the lists. The Braid (or Bride) worm, which surfaced in November, dropped off some lists as its infection wanes.

Here are the top threats as reported by antivirus vendors:
1. W32/Klez.I 12.44%
2. W32/Bugbear 4.77%
3. W32/Elkern.C 3.51%
4. W32/Nimda 2.90%
5. Trj/PSW.Bugbear 2.68%
6. W32/Opaserv.J 2.52%
7. W32/Opaserv.E 2.39%
8. W32/Opaserv.H 2.11%
9. Trj/W32Porndial.B 2.04%
10. Trj/Sysres 1.69%
MessageLabs' list of intercepted viruses and worms for the month.
1. W32/Klez.H-mm
2. W32/Yaha.E-mm
3. W32/BugBear-mm
4. W32/Yaha.K!e2a2
5. W32/SirCam.A-mm
6. W32/Yaha.C-mm
7. W32/Klez.E-mm
8. W32/CIH.1049
9. W32/Magistr.B-mm
10. W32/Hybris.B-mm
Central Command's top 12 viruses and worms for the month:
1. Worm/Klez.E (incl. G variant) 40.1%
2. Worm/BugBear 8.6%
3. W32/Yaha.E 14.7%
4. W32/Elkern.C 7.4%
5. Worm/W32.Sircam 6.8%
6. W32/Magistr.B 2.9%
7. W32/Nimda 2.3%
8. W95/Hybris 1.1%
9. W32/Funlove 1.6%
10. W32/Yaha.M 0.9%
11. W32/Bride.C 0.8%
12. W95/CIH 0.6%
Others 12.2%
Sophos' top 10 list of viruses and worms.
1. W32/Bugbear-A 15.8%
2. W32/Klez-H 10.9%
3. Troj/Tubmo-A 5.9%
4. W32/Klez-G 4.5%
5. W32/Opaserv-G 3.9%
6. W32/Nimda-D2.9%
7. W32/Opaserv-A 2.7%
8. W32/Opaserv-F 2.5%
9. W32/Braid-A 2.2%
9. W32/ElKern-C2.2%
Others 46.5%


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Feedback on this story? Send your comments to News Writer Edward Hurley

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