Risk

4/30/2009
03:18 PM
Keith Ferrell
Keith Ferrell
Commentary
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Spam Close To 2 Year High: 85% Of Mail Now Spam

Nobody really expected spam levels to stay low after the McColo takedown last year and, as a new MessageLabs report shows, they haven't. In fact, spam levels are as high as they've been in 19 months, crossing the 85% level for the first time since September '87.

Nobody really expected spam levels to stay low after the McColo takedown last year and, as a new MessageLabs report shows, they haven't. In fact, spam levels are as high as they've been in 19 months, crossing the 85% level for the first time since September '87.Last year's McColo domain takedown cut spam rates by half -- but the lower rate didn't last half long enough, as a new report from MessageLabs shows.

Spam is up, but so is the effectiveness of spam filters and, one hopes, increased public awareness of what sorts of mail to avoid.

Like unsolicited mail with apparently legit links: Image spam is back with a vengeance, according to MessageLabs' April 2009 Intelligence Report, with the spammers now hosting their images on apparently trustworthy site, rather than including them in spam e-mail itself.

That's one of the latest tricks being employed by spammers to get around filterware and other defensive tools.

There's plenty to defend against: Spam levels jumped 10% in April, accounting for 85% of global e-mail traffic, and hitting its highest level since early autumn, 2007.

Some countries have it worse than others: England's spam rate was 94% (a 25% increase) earning it the designation of the world' most spammed country.

Levels like that make this a good time remind your staff to steer clear of unsolicited e-mail, e-mail with links, any e-mail that isn't related to your business.

This is particularly important as the economy continues to suffer. Spammers are using economic scarelines, come-ons, and attention grabbers in hopes of getting their hooks into nervous consumers.

You and your employees and co-workers, after all, already have enough to worry about without falling for a too-good-to-be-anything-but-spam scam.

Read the whole MessageLabs Intelligence Report here.

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