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Kaspersky has just published the list of the most common threats detected on its customers' computers during the month of August. Out of the 20 most popular malicious code items that were employed by attackers, 13 were trojans, which shows that these threats (which can actually trigger other problems as well) are easy to use and equally effective.

When it came to the most common malware detected after it had already affected items on users' machines, a worm dating back to 2001 came out on the number one spot in August. Thus, users who haven't performed a scan of their computer in years may be surprised to learn that this “ancient” worm is still affecting their systems. “You could have been forgiven for thinking that such a worm would have disappeared from the Internet long ago, but the facts suggest otherwise: Nimda is still active and it's likely that it's still present in files that were infected during the epidemics of 2001-2002.” explained Senior Virus Analyst at the Kaspersky Lab Alexander Gostev.

Sixteen out of the twenty malicious software pieces discovered by the security firm in August were new. The monthly updates performed by Kaspersky rendered these brand new threats useless, as they no longer affect the machines of the users of the company’s products. As hackers cannot afford to fall behind in the constant race towards infecting as many computers as possible, the September report will probably show that completely different malware threatened users' machines.

However, the first position in the chart is occupied, and has been for a few months in a row, by Trojan.Win32.DNSChanger.ech, which is a type of malicious program that modifies settings in the DNS server, allowing hijackers to redirect the browser to websites containing other security threats. This trojan can also download malware. “Overall, it is more than three times more widespread than the program which comes in second place. This indicates that there is quite a large-scale epidemic caused by DNSChanger which is affecting Western European countries in particular.” Gostev added.

The Kaspersky report shows, in accordance with data provided by other security companies, an increase in the total number of threats. “A total of 28,940 different malicious and potentially unwanted programs were detected on users’ computers in August. That is an increase of more than 8,000 on July's figures and points to a significant increase in the number of in-the-wild threats.” the researcher concluded by saying.