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Trojan & E-mail Worm - Top Malware in December

On January 2, 2008, Kaspersky Lab published its list of top viruses for December 2007. A worm spreading through e-mail ranked the highest, leading the relatively more interesting malware.

Specifically, the new Trojan-Downloader.Win32.Diehard, a 'downloader' malware affecting Windows, climbed to the first rank in the 'Virus Top Twenty' chart of Kaspersky Lab during December last as it propagated most explosively, the security company noted.

A downloader malware when installed onto a user's system is designed to allow the malicious attacker to download additional malware and gain control of that computer to perform activities like spam, information theft and the like.

The .dc version of the Diehard Trojan made its first appearance on December 21, 2007 to be so virulent on certain days of the month that it accounted for almost 80% of total malware traffic that Kaspersky detected in its users' e-mail.

The most serious virus seen in December 2007 was, however, a variant of the traditional Netsky worm and not the Diehard Trojan. According to Kaspersky, this worm that has been spreading since 2003 after its discovery surged to account for 20% of e-mail in December 2007.

Another malware of the month, the Warezov, continues to slide downwards when its variant .xd stopped in the third place with a large amount of four fresh entrants.

Other malicious codes accounted for 4.4% of all malware in e-mail traffic, which indicates that some amount of other trojans and worms are still in circulation.

Overall, Kaspersky has detected eight new entrants in its list of top ten viruses, which make a dominant presence with the most extended duration, a trend that the security firm thinks would significantly affect the future e-mail traffic.

Unlike previous predictions, phishing attacks and Trojan programs have been frequently occupying the top places on the malware table. Kaspersky found that the old e-mail worms tend to reappear among the rankings to disappear again making way for a real fight. And albeit these occurrences do not occur in the same measure or remain for the same time period as the threats of past years, they cannot be considered less dangerous.

Related article: Trojans to Target VoIP in 2006

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