Viruses up, spam down, Germans add to woe

5 Sep 2006

Virus levels in Irish emails rose slightly during August but the rate spam was down from July, data from IE Internet shows.

Just over one in seven emails circulating last month contained some form of malware, the statistics indicate. According to IE Internet, the rate of infection was 15.15pc, up from the 13.9pc rate recorded in July. This reverses a slight decline in virus figures over the previous two months.

Two of the most prevalent viruses accounted for more than two thirds of all infections. A new variant of Mytob, .CQ, was alone responsible for 40.52pc of the total. “The fact that your computer could be accessed remotely and used to send spam is what makes it a nasty virus,” said Ken O’Driscoll, technical Manager with IE Internet. Mytob.CQ first appeared in May 2005 and yet still remains the biggest threat. In order to avoid infection, O’Driscoll advises companies to use virus screening that is regularly updated.

This was followed by Zafi.B — no stranger to the list — with 31.9pc. Occurrences of the longstanding Netsky.P were down significantly to 13.79pc, a reduction of almost half from its July level which was 26.65pc.

Spam levels remained high at 47.9pc during August, although this was down from July’s level which was over 50pc, or one in two emails. Last month was notable for the first appearance of Germany as a significant identifiable source of junk email. It was in third place, behind traditional leaders the USA and South Korea, with 6.4pc of the total.

By Gordon Smith