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Sober-N Virus - Big Bark, Small Bite in Oz

  • 05 May, 2005 13:48

<p>Sober-N virus flowing into Oz, but floodgates holding fast</p>
<p>SophosLabs in Sydney is reporting statistics on the widespread Sober-N virus for the 24 hours to 12:00 (midday) AEST, Wednesday 05 May 2005.</p>
<p>The latest numbers show that about five per cent of all email worldwide contains the Sober-N virus. (A further one per cent of mail contains viruses other than Sober-N.)</p>
<p>Two countries are currently being pounded well above the average, with the US and the UK reporting viruses in about 16 per cent of all incoming mail.</p>
<p>Australia is currently in third place, with almost exactly six per cent of all mail containing viruses. Other countries all lie below the worldwide mean.</p>
<p>"Lots of viral email is flowing into Australia right now," says Paul Ducklin, Head of Technology, Asia Pacific for Sophos, "with Sober-N making up about 80 per cent of this potentially infectious traffic. In comparison, infection rates are very low. Almost all of Sober-N's malicious mails are being shot down before they reach their Australian targets."</p>
<p>Ducklin warns that home users are most at risk, because they are less likely to have several layers of protection, and more likely to let their guard down when using their computers for relaxation or entertainment purposes.</p>
<p>Sober-N sends emails to German-speaking countries in German, often with subject lines and message content about tickets for the 2006 soccer World Cup ("WM" or "Weltmeistershaft" in German), which is being held in Germany. Sober-N uses English to speak to the rest of the world, using four different subject lines:</p>
<p>mailing error
Registration Confirmation
Your email was blocked
Your Password</p>
<p>Attached filenames end in .zip and contain one of the following:</p>
<p>"As usual," finishes Ducklin, "watch out for unusual, unsolicited, unbelievable or unexpected attachments. Just because it looks as though it comes from someone you know doesn't mean that it does, so you shouldn't blindly trust anything you receive via email."</p>
<p>news ends</p>
<p>About Sophos.
Sophos is a world leading computer security specialist, developing anti-virus and anti-spam software. Headquartered in the UK, the company produces solutions tailored for businesses of all sizes – from small enterprises to global corporations. Sophos is acclaimed for delivering the highest level of customer satisfaction and protection in the industry. The company's products are sold and supported in more than 150 countries and protect more than 35 million users.</p>
<p>Sophos's regional head office for Australia and New Zealand is in Sydney and hosts one of the company's four High Security Research and Development Laboratories to provide global support services.</p>
Paul Ducklin ( is available for comment:
+61 2 9409 9100 (tel)
+61 2 407 320 515 (mob)
+61 2 9409 9191 (fax)</p>
<p>Sophos's press contact at Gotley Nix Evans is:
Michael Henderson (
+61 2 9957 5555 (tel)
+61 413 054 738 (mob)
+61 2 9957 5575 (fax)</p>

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