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Risk

11/12/2009
10:54 AM
Keith Ferrell
Keith Ferrell
Commentary
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Spammers Pumping More (And More) Of The Same: Kaspersky

Spam rates jumped a full percentage point, to past 86% of all e-mail this past September, according to a report from Kaspersky Labs. So what else is new? Not a lot. And that's what's scary.

Spam rates jumped a full percentage point, to past 86% of all e-mail this past September, according to a report from Kaspersky Labs. So what else is new? Not a lot. And that's what's scary.Kasperky Labs' latest Spam Trends Report, dealing with September stats, offers some insights into spammers' techniques that we should all be aware of.

Most of the insights, of course, we already are familiar with.

And still the spammers keep pumping out the stuff. Because, however familiar we are with the problem plenty of people aren't, and that's what the spammers count on.

That, and volume:

The overwhelming majority of world e-mail traffic continues to be spam.

In September, the average was 86.3%, with a 91.3% peak reached late in the month. The low for the month was still higher than ever: this was the first time Kaspersky's metrics showed a full month of spam levels over 83%.

Overall spam traffic increased by just over one percent from August.

The point of all of this -- same old same old in many ways, the numbers increasing every month, ebbing only occasionally -- is the point that has to be made to employees:

Much of what they see in their mail queues (even post-filtering) is going to be spam. And if your filters aren't tight, make that most of what they see in their in-boxes will be spam, and should be deleted.

That said, Kasperky's figures for malware and phishing are equally interesting:

0.84% of all e-mails contain malicious links, an increase of 0.25% to August.

1.22% of all e-mails carried malicious files, an increase of 1.17% over August.

While those percentages appear to be small (if growing) there's the risk of a false sense of security being derived from playing the odds that most spam doesn't carry or link to malicious material.

There's no such thing as a harmless spam (the volume of the traffic is itself a growing problem) and the more thoroughly you make this point to your employees and colleagues, the less likely they will be to be victimized (along with your company) by one of the more overtly harmful ones.

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