Computer Associates has released its list of the top 10 viruses for 2001. The list appears at the end of each calendar year, and three of the top four viruses on the list for 2001 -- as measured by frequency of system infection -- were variations of the Badtrans and Sircam worms.
Computer Associates annual list is based on reports tracked by the companys eTrust Global Antivirus Research Centers. This years list also arrived with a warning from Computer Associates about the growing prevalence of complex threats, such as worms that blend elements of other worms into a single threat that can attack in multiple ways. The Sircam worm -- ranked number two on the Computer Associates list -- was an example of just such a complex threat, and these complex threats showed up in a year where viruses and worms caused major financial damage.
The full list, ranked by frequency, is as follows:
- 1. Win32.Badtrans.B
- 2. Win32.Sircam.137216
- 3. Win32.Magistr
- 4. Win32.Badtrans.13312
- 5. Win32.Magistr.B
- 6. Win32.Hybris.B
- 7. Win95.MTX
- 8. Win32.Nimda.A
- 9. VBS.VBSWG.Generic
- 10. Win32.Goner.A
"The level of expertise exhibited by virus authors continues to dramatically rise, which means that both the user and anti-virus vendor communities must also ratchet up the sophistication of their defensive strategies," says Ian Hameroff, director of antivirus solutions at Computer Associates. "One thing is certain -- either peoples habits and practices are going to change, or we are going to see more devastation in the coming year."
Hameroff advises users to treat e-mail with caution and make sure systems include security protection. Information about new viruses and worms -- including how to protect against them -- is available at Computer Associates tracking center: http://ca.com/virusinfo.