local distributor for Sophos, a world leader in protecting businesses against spam and viruses, has revealed the top ten viruses and hoaxes causing problems for businesses around the world.

The report, which examines virus and hoax reports in the month of May 2004, shows the Sasser worm dominating the chart, accounting for more than half the reports received by Sophos.The top ten viruses in May 2004 were as follows: New W32/Sasser (51.1%); W32/Netsky-P (11.7%); W32/Netsky-B (4.1%); W32/Netsky-D (3.8%);New W32/Netsky-Z (3.4%); W32/Netsky-Q (2.4%); W32/Netsky-C (2.1% );W32/Sober-G (1.5%); New W32/Bagle-AA (0.8%); and New W32/Lovgate-V (0.7%).

"Sasser was the major pain in the neck this month, affecting far more users than even the prevalent Netsky worms. Requiring no user intervention and taking advantage of a relatively new Microsoft hole, it sneaked onto unprotected PCs, swamping internet connections," said Brett Myroff, CEO of NetXactics.

"The best way to block such stealth worms is to deploy a consolidated defence, including multi-level anti-virus protection, firewalls and policies to update operating systems and educate staff."

Sophos analysed and protected against 959 new viruses in May, this is the highest number of new viruses discovered in a single month since December 2001. The total number of viruses Sophos now protects against is 90,811.

"The Sasser and Netsky worms may have captured the headlines, but many more viruses have been written this month - 959 in total," continued Myroff.

"Indeed, May has seen a noticeable spike in cybercriminal activity, suggesting that even the arrest of Sven Jaschan, the German teenager who has owned up to writing Sasser and Netsky has done nothing to curb the problem."

* Aubin Kashoba Kalasa of Afrinet was in London last week for a Cisco sales and technical seminar. He explained to News Update that the problems with the .cd ccTLD had been caused by successive ministers thinking it would be a money spinner. As a result, two companies (both with local partners) - one in Germany, the other in Sweden - had been given the contract. Since there are only about 2,000 .cd domains, it has not been quite the goldmine the politicians imagined. As a result, the internet community agreed with the Government that the regulator (ARPTC) will take on the responsibility for the domain but that the University of Kinshasa will provide technical expertise.

In a separate part of the discussion he told us that VoIP had not really taken off in DRC because mobile rates were relatively cheap at 40 cents a minute to most destinations. Fixed line calling Few managers wanted to use headphones with a softphone on their laptop. But there are other problems restricting its growth. There is limited satellite bandwidth and a VoIP handset that sells for USD35 ends costing USD121 in the DRC once import taxes have been paid. He also told us that Celtel and Vodacom are both suffering, having invested in the east of the country and recent difficulties in Bukavu mean it's been impossible to connect up this part of the network.

* The Nigerian Communications Commission's CEO Ernest Ndukwe has warned that he will revoke the licences of companies that do meet their licence conditions in a session with the press reported by the Daily Champion:"There are licenses that we do by some selection process, people apply, we look at what they have applied for and we give licenses. The long distance operating license falls into that last category because it is a service that is not always usual to proliferate such licenses because there is a lot of investment that is involved and you should have a limited number of operators in that kind of environment for it be viable and for it to make meaning".

"So we just licensed NESKCOM and MTS as the two companies for long distanced in addition, to the national carriers that we have which are NITEL and GLOBACOM. So we thought that four companies were enough to pursue the infrastructural development of long distance requirement in Nigeria but since 2000 when this licenses was issued to NESKOM we've not seen any sign to show that they are actually going to actualize that license and in that license we didn't even charge any serious license fee, because we knew their investment will be largely enough, but even with concluding their management agreement and their shareholding agreement with the NESKCOM which were suppose to invest and be partners, they neither could conclude that nor were they rolling out, because if they had rolled out something and they are already given services to people then we would have encourage them in whatever way possible".

"But obviously they did not have anything on ground and they did not show us any cause to believe that they could move from step one to step two. So, based on that, we decided to withdraw the license. I think government is still interested in the fact that NEPA has optic fiber installation that could be used for long distance infrastructure and whenever they get there acts together and they can approach us again and if we are confident that they have solid arrangement, that we lead to progressing installation and utilization of the license, then we might consider them alongside others in whatever licenses will be doing in the future".

* Richard Bell has resigned from both KDN and Swift Global and sold his shares in both companies. From 6 September he'll be in London at the London Business School doing a Sloan Fellowship. After which we expect to see him leading a major company back in the region as he's always been one to watch.

* On the move: Raymond Sifiso Dabengwa, currently COO of MTN South Africa will take over from Adreian Woods in Nigeria...Leonie Vlachos is leaving Bar has left Gilat Satellite...Cathy Lapping has left Citigate to go to Ernst and Young...considerable relief in the Kenyan ICT sector as John Michuki lost the ICT and communications portfolio to Raphael Tuju.

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