Generally speaking, only malicious code that cause serious epidemics manage to attract media and public attention. Nevertheless, every day, many new examples appear with their own very specific traits. Panda Software presents a list of some of the more curious malicious code to have appeared during 2005.

– Quick off the blocks. Downloader.AEE has the dubious honor of being
the first threat detected in 2005 — we were still ringing in the New
Year when it first emerged. Seems like the creators of this malicious
code didn’t have a party to go to!

– Casanova. Mydoom.AK, one of the many members of this infamous family
of worms, uses a range of subjects and file names connected with
Valentine’s Day… along with other more lurid bait.

– The most ingenious. Assiral.A spreads in an email message very similar
to the one used by LoveLetter. Just like in fashion, it looks like the
classics will always make a comeback.

– A frustrated reporter. It is difficult to know whether the creators of
Crowt.A, a worm that spread in mail messages containing CNN headlines,
wanted to cause as much damage as possible or simply keep us all
up-to-speed on what was going on in the world. Fortunately, they
didn’t achieve either.

– The most annoying. Elitper.D wins hands down as it can prevent up to
90 applications from running, including Microsoft Word, Microsoft
Excel, WinZip and WinRAR.

– Soccer mad. Sober.V took advantage of soccer fans looking forward to
next year’s World Cup in Germany. It tricks users by offering free
tickets to the finals.

– The most incompetent. Banker.APM is a Trojan that tries to steal
confidential bank details. However, due to numerous programming
errors, it turns out to be something of a failure as a thief. Just as
well really!

– Liar, liar… Downloader.EJD spreads in messages that claim to be from
Microsoft. These emails warn users of the danger of the wave of Zotob
and IRCBot worms that saturated the Internet in August, and try to
trick the unwary into running the supposed patch to prevent infection.

– How low can you get? Pretty low it seems when you try to benefit from
others’ misfortune. Zar.A.worm uses the subject of donations to the
victims of the Asian tsunami to trick users. Downloader.ENC pulls a
similar stunt using hurricane Katrina. In this case, a web page
supposedly offering support to victims of Katrina actually downloads a
Trojan on to visitors’ computers.

– Organized crime. Even thieves need to be organized. With all the data
that Rona.A can steal from computers, it is no wonder that it’s so
organized: version and date of its own installation; Internet
connection details; actions it has taken and the time and date of each
of them, etc.

– Thieves on the prowl. The biggest thieves this year have been the
Banker Trojans, designed to carry out online fraud. Nevertheless, the
creators of these malicious codes could well do with investing some of
their returns on language classes, as the messages that some of the
Trojans use to trick users leave a lot to be desired.

– Spoilsport. This ‘accolade’ goes to the Format.A Trojan, designed for
PSP (PlayStation Portable), and Tahen.A and Tahen.B, aimed at Nintendo
DS. These creations don’t just annoy users of these video
consoles — they can even render the hardware completely unusable.

– The most observant. The Bancos.NL Trojan stands out in this section.
It spies on users, waiting until they enter financial or banking
websites. This, in itself, is nothing new as many other malicious code
take similar actions, but they can normally only monitor a few hundred
web addresses. Bancos.NL however, monitors some 3000 addresses.

– Modern times. ComWar.A.worm is the first worm for cell phones that can
send itself in MMS messages, the same way as classic email worms.

Even though some of these may seem interesting, users should steer well clear of the threats mentioned above, and any others. For this reason, Panda Software advises users to ensure they have reliable antivirus software installed and kept up-to-date daily.