A Look Into The Viruses That Caused Havoc In 2003
by Berislav Kucan - Tuesday, 23 December 2003.
In a recently published report by managed e-mail security provider Message Labs, we can see a dramatical increase in e-mail borne viruses - ratio of virus infected emails to clean e-mails increased 84 percent to 1:33 against 1:212 a year ago.

Viruses and worms received an enormous amount of media coverage during this year. The year started with a bang: the Slammer worm exploited vulnerabilities in Microsoft SQL 2000 servers and hit the Internet, resulting as one of the biggest attacks to date. In January we saw the first version of now infamous worm - Sobig that used a built-in SMTP client and local Windows network shares to spread and inspired a number of new variants that wreaked havoc throughout 2003. February brought us a combination of a worm and a trojan called Lovgate.

The next few months gave us a couple of inventive worms: Ganda was using Iraqi war as its social engineering method and Fizzer was replicating over e-mail, as well over the KaZaa peer-to-peer network. August was a truly destruction derby month - it featured all the great ones: Sobig F, Blaster, Welchi and Mimail spread rapidly. Since then there was a large number of copycat worms, using mostly well known replication methods.

I've talked with some of the leading experts from the anti virus and data security industry, so beneath, you can see their views on the most important malware happenings in 2003, as well as their future scopes for the upcoming year.

As pictured below, from left to right: Graham Cluley (Senior Technology Consultant, Sophos), David Perry (Global Director Of Education, Trend Micro), Fernando de la Cuadra (International Technical Editor, Panda Software), Denis Zenkin (Head of Corporate Communications, Kaspersky Labs), Mikko H. Hypponen (Director of Anti-Virus Research, F-Secure Corporation) and Nick Galea (Managing Director & CEO, GFI Software).



In your opinion, what were the most important moments for the anti virus industry in the year 2003? What were the biggest infectors?

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