SAN CARLOS, Calif. -- Postini, the global leader in on-demand communications security and compliance solutions for email, instant messaging and the web, today announced that in February, email spam continued at record high levels, making up 93 percent of all email traffic processed. The continued surge is due in large part to the increased activity of bot-nets, millions of hijacked personal computers that have been infected to steal personal information and to distribute spam and viruses.
According to Postini, total spam has gone up 222 percent since November 2005 with 125 percent of this increase coming in the last 6 months. Major email-borne virus attacks in January and February were aimed at creating more bot-nets for future attacks. Heightened virus activity began in late December 2006 with the "Happy New Year" spam virus attack and continued in January with the "Storm" email attack. February has seen a steady stream of these types of attacks as hackers continue to harvest computers to add to their bot-nets.
The increased volume of attacks in February drove several all-time records. For the first time, Postini's global data centers processed more than two billion connections per day. Data volumes grew to more than 17 terabytes in a single 24-hour period. Average volumes of spams blocked per day rose to more than one billion.
The costs associated with the increased attacks have also skyrocketed. A new study from Ferris Research predicts that the global cost of spam in 2007 will be $100 billion compared to $50 billion in 2005. In the US alone, spam is expected to cost $35 billion in 2007, up from $19 billion 2 years ago.
"Following two of the largest outbreaks of e-mail viruses in history in December and January, as predicted, spam and other attacks reached all time highs in February," said Daniel Druker, executive vice president of marketing for Postini. "The rise of bot-nets has driven spam to be a $100 billion business issue in 2007, making it integral for all companies to seek solutions that keep their communications safe and productive."