The Netsky-P and Zafi-B worms are running neck and neck for the top spot
in June’s list of Worst Malware Threats.
While Sophos, Inc., a Lynnfield, Ma.-based anti-virus and anti-spam
company, ranks Zafi-B as the most prolific threat last month, Central
Command, Inc., a Medina, Ohio-based anti-virus company, puts Netsky-P at
the top of their June list.
According to Sophos, Zafi-B accounted for 30.4 percent of all malware
traveling the Internet last month, and Netsky-P came in with 9.9
percent. But Central Command, showed pretty much opposite results with
Netsky-P accounting for 32.7 percent of malware and Zafi-B making up 8.8
”Statistics are collected differently, but these are two bad worms that
we’ve been dealing with,” says Carol Theriault, a security consultant
with Sophos. ”The Netsky family, in particular, has caused a lot of
trouble for us this year. There are more than 30 variants. The guy
claiming ownership of them has been arrested in Germany so hopefully we
won’t see any more of these. But they’ve been around since January and
we’re still seeing them in our top 10.”
Theriault says Zafi-B has caused a large number of infections in Eastern
Europe. The text message in the Zafi-B email is written in Hungarian and
is rather old-school in that it carries a political message (new worms
are more focused on financial gain than in railing against Microsoft or
And many users in the United States were infected with Zafi-B because
their anti-virus software couldn’t read the Hungarian text so the virus
slipped through the protective layer.
What Central Command and Sophos do agree on is that June was a quieter
month than the several months that preceded it.
”Unlike earlier this year, June was relatively tranquil,” says Steve
Sundermeier, a vice president at Central Command.
Theriault says Sophos had added 900 new virus identities to its
anti-virus software in May, but that number dropped to 670 this past
month. ”Normally, we see between 600 and 800 a month,” she adds.
”June was more average again.”