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Risk

2/7/2008
08:58 AM
Keith Ferrell
Keith Ferrell
Commentary
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Spam Across The Waters: Europe Grabs Junkmail Lead

This month's Symantec Spam Report brings some interesting -- and surprising -- information about the nature of the spam that clogs our queues and pipelines. Spam filesize is shrinking and more of it's coming from Europe than anywhere else.

This month's Symantec Spam Report brings some interesting -- and surprising -- information about the nature of the spam that clogs our queues and pipelines. Spam filesize is shrinking and more of it's coming from Europe than anywhere else.The February State of Spam Report shows spam traffic running between 55 percent and 85 percent of all mail.

Europe is the continent of origin for just under 45 percent of that traffic, with North American spammers in second place, generating around 35 percent of the stuff.

The report cites Europe's broadband growth as one explanation for the continent's rankings climb. Probably not a good increase our capacity argument to present North American carriers.

The spam community continues to move away from large filesize, pipeline clogging image spam, which peaked at just over 50 percent of all spam traffic in January '07.

Common spam size is now under 5k, as opposed to the 10k-plus (and in some cases a big plus) image spams.

Symantec points out that "Large message size can put inordinate strains on mail infrastructures and could possibly prevent end users from receiving legitimate email."

Also seems likely to me that the spammers understand that supersizing their spam could prevent end users from receiving their share of junk.

Current hot spam subject lines? About what you'd expect: Valentine's Day-related spam is starting to peak, and tax-time spam is beginning its climb.

Phony search string links in the message field are also on the rise, appearing to be Google searches but, when clicked, taking the user to a fraudsite.

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