SAN DIEGO -- St. Bernard Software, Inc. (OTCBB: SBSW), a global provider of security appliances and on-demand solutions, including secure content management and archiving, today announced its October Threat Center results, highlighting a 33% increase in spam and virus activity over September.
The statistics validate the company's recent forecast of an increase in malicious online activity due to the beginning of a new school year. St. Bernard researchers also observed a continued growth in visits to social-networking and file-sharing sites, two favorite online destinations for students. With unmanaged Web surfing and download policies, 'virgin' student PCs at colleges were compromised and turned into zombies that send spam, a pattern that repeats itself every year.
During October, both the average number of messages and the amount of spam St. Bernard's customers received per day rose by 33% over September. On average, the company blocked 89% of inbound messages as junk. Phishing scams were on the rise as well, with the iGuard(tm) team identifying a ten-fold increase in the number of such Web sites during the month of October. This indicates most of the spam was phishing related, intended to lure victims to new malicious Web sites.
"As predicted, we saw a significant spike in spam in October," said Andrew Lochart, vice president of marketing and product management at St. Bernard. "College freshmen bring new PCs to school with them. Because of lax network management at educational institutions and unsafe browsing by students, the computers are quickly recruited into botnets and used to pump out spam, viruses and phishing attacks. This year's back-to-school season was no different from past years', unfortunately."