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The number of reports of computer virus damage in Japan in the first six months of the year has already surpassed the total for all of 2001, software firm Trend Micro Inc. said Friday.

The number of cases reported between January and June to the Tokyo-based firm, which specializes in developing antivirus programs, stood at 28,938, topping the 25,644 reported throughout 2001, it said.

Trend Micro attributed the sharp increase to the longer periods individuals spend online, due mainly to the proliferation of broadband connection services.

“It’s noteworthy that these days, more individuals than corporate users report computer virus damage,” a company official said.

In terms of a damage report breakdown, the Klez virus, which transmits a massive number of infected e-mail messages, topped the Trend Micro list with 9,999 reports.

Reports of damage from the Klez virus began increasing around April. One of its strains is reported to have caused serious damage by overwriting documents with gibberish on the sixth day of odd-numbered months.

Badtrans.b was next on the list, with 7,365 reports, followed by Exception.gen, with 868.

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