Although users had little choice in what viruses attacked their machines in 2004, the year produced a wide range of attacks.
According to anti-virus company Panda Software, the volatile mixture of warring delinquents and organised crime created a mass of new viruses and worms, which Panda has categorised under its 2004 Hall of Fame.
Most damaging was the Sasser worm, whose victims found their computers were virtually unusable due to the continuous restarts that this malicious code caused.
The most sophisticated, in Panda's view, was Noomy.A, a worm that constructs infected web pages and sends messages through chat channels as though it were a genuine user.
The most talkative was Amus.A, a malicious code from Turkey that uses Speech Engine in the Windows XP operating system to announce its presence. And the most musical were variants of the Netsky worm which signalled their arrival by playing a melody for three hours.
The smuttiest was Tasin.C, which downloaded an erotic image of a famous Spanish celebrity. And the shyest were variants of the Bagle worm, which were sent out in password protected ZIP files to prevent AV applications from scanning them when they enter a computer.
StartPage.AV, Harnig.B and Multidropper.AM shared the politest virus title, as they informed users that they had been infected.