How Many Worms Do You Think Are Out There?

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Here’s something truly frightening. Or amazing. Or maybe both.

Having just reported on the latest version of the Sober worm, Aunty got to wondering just how many worms there were out there. I’m talking about the kind which make their way into your computer, and do nasty things once there, not the people you used to date.

So Aunty took herself over to the Sophos site, and had a look at their index. Now, mind you, worms are just one variation on a theme, that theme being viruses. In fact, Sophos breaks viruses down into six different types: application, joke, junk, trojan, the generic virus, and worm. In looking at how many worms there are or have been out there, we are looking at just one type of virus.

So Aunty selected to see a list of all the worms which Sophos is tracking, or has tracked in the past, and to see how many there were.

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This is how many there were. Are you ready?

More than TWELVE THOUSAND.

In fact, almost 13,000.

If you don’t believe me, you can follow the link at the end of this article and go count them yourself.

Now, this count includes all versions of a given worm, so that, for example, it includes all 450+ versions of Agobot (what, you haven’t heard of the Agobot worm… a worm with more than four hundred and fifty versions? That’s kind of Aunty’s point.)

However, to offset that, Sophos is quick to tell you at the top of their list that “These analyses describe some of the more common or interesting viruses. They only cover a small proportion of the viruses, Trojan horses and worms detected by Sophos’s virus protection products.”

A small portion indeed.

No matter how you slice it, there are a lot of worms out there, and remember, this is just worms. There are dozens of thousands more viruses in the other categories.

With all that bad stuff out there whose sole purpose in life is to infect and abuse your computer and its Internet connection, it’s not only not surprising that so many users find themselves with problems, but it’s actually pretty amazing that things aren’t worse!

Thank goodness for things like Aunty’s Net Patrol to keep you informed, eh?

And for gosh sakes, be sure to keep your virus checker up to date!

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