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Malware joins hands for September Summit

September 2003

September Evil Top inherited two nasty worms that wrecked hundreds

Bucharest, October 1st, 2003 - SOFTWIN, a leading provider of security related software and services today released its monthly listing of the top ten viruses reported for September 2003. The report, denominated the "Evil Top Ten", is based on the number of virus occurrences confirmed through BitDefender Response Team tracking.
August was a rather overloaded period in all aspects related to new viral outbreaks and their effective endeavor to top the corresponding monthly report. But September succeeds in showing, once more, that people have expectations with the mere end of seeing them overcome.

September Evil Top inherited two nasty worms that wrecked hundreds of thousands of computer systems in August MsBlast.A and Sobig.F. Furthermore, it introduces a brand new menace: Swen.A, another disgusting creature breaking its way to glory...

This months evil casting is presented in the table below. Have a look at the vicious lineup starring on the red carpet this September:

Ranking Virus NamePercentage
1. Win32.Msblast.A19.0%
2. Win32.Swen.A@mm16.0%
5. Trojan.Exploit.Java.Bytverify10.2%
6.Win32.Klez.H@mm 9.0%
7.Win32.Parite.B 7.2%
8. Win32.HLLP.Hanta.A5.0%

Although last month appears to have been quite endowed with virus threats, if we take a closer look, the reality becomes somewhat different. The Blaster worm and Sobig.F are already superfluous topics, respectfully included in so many lead titles since their outbreak this August. Their presence in this months Evil Top is far from representing breaking news to anyone.

On the other hand, we do have a fair share of novelty associated to the nasty shape of Swen.A, originally mild, but virtually tough for too many users so far. Under the guise of "September 2003, Cumulative Patch", the virus looks to exploit an old flaw in Microsoft's Internet Explorer web browser. Microsoft issued a fix for the problem in March 2001, so lamentations are overdue...

Swen's spreading and damage are related so far to the fact that social engineering tricks - such as masquerading - still work among common users. In spite of recent experiences with some uglier cyber-creatures, users haven't really learned their lesson that well. Although Swen harsh attack on the Internet didn't result in the kind of damage Windows users have somehow gotten used to, virus researchers say that some 200.000 computers were infected by Swen so far. In a fair translation, that kind of spreading leaves Swen pretty low comparing to the threats we've seen lately, that is - Sobig.F mainly...

Nevertheless, this should not be imposed as a threat for companies that strip executables at their gateway. Moreover, the fake alert e-mail should stir some immediate attention, considering that Microsoft doesn't send patches via e-mail. Instead, it refers people to its download page and that has been seen as a keen issue by users too many times, the more reason for everyone to recall Microsoft's demeanor.

Anyway, Swen's deja vu caused some trouble these days and people were recommended, once more, to fasten their security and patch their systems. That alone can turn this issue of our Evil Top into another hope that someday users will be more aware of malware danger in the future... As for the computer damage and productivity losses, nobody would look forward for another similar evil summit this year.

Until next time, BitDefender prefers to keep its users still curious and perfectly protected.

Note: BitDefender users were protected since the very beginning against the threats described above. Moreover, BitDefender experts were among the first to release antidote tools, freely available on the Internet.

For more details, please contact us or see the technical description.

For a permanent protection, BitDefender Antivirus commercial solutions are available for sale on the Internet or at local distributors and start from USD 29.95.