The worm known as "MiMail" and its variants dominated the "Dirty Dozen" list of top email viruses released Monday by Central Command, an anti-virus vendor.
The software firm noted that many versions of current viruses, such as "MiMail.I" are being written for financial gain, actively attempting to search for or persuade victims to enter personal information such as credit card numbers. Viruses such as MiMail also seek out and harvest email addresses, propagating the worm onto other systems.
A worm known as "Gibe.C" actually topped Central Commands charts, with 19.2 percent of all infected emails recorded by the company. "Sober," "Klez.E," and the "G" and "C" variants of MiMail rounded out the top five entries, the firm reported. "Hawawi.G", the "I", "G", and "H" variants of MiMail, and the "BugBear.B" worm completed the top ten, with the "Nachi.A and "MiMail.A" also reporting showings.
"As is the case with Worm/MiMail.I and Worm/MiMail.J, we are beginning to see the emerging pattern of writing computer viruses for financial gain," said Steven Sundermeier, vice president of products and services at Central Command, Inc., in a statement. "This increasing trend can have a serious effect on users, beyond the normal risk of computer corruption, by destroying their livelihood. Confidential information such as credit card and bank account information is regularly sought."
MiMail.I prompts users to click on a link, which opens a window purportedly generated by Internet auctioneer eBay.com. In fact, the information is sent to a bogus email account. An eBay spokeswoman said suspicious emails that appear to be generated from eBay should be sent to the contacts at eBays online security page.
Meanwhile, a number of different worms appeared on MessageLabs November roundup of virus infections, which tracks infections across its test servers around the world. "Swen.A," "Dumaru", and "Klez.H" were the top three most infectious viruses for Novemberm the firm found. Incidents of the Swen.A virus appeared more than 600,000 times, the company found, followed closely by Dumaru with just under 500,000 entries.