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March Witnessed Sharp Rise in Spam

According to e-mail security and hosting firm, IE Internet, while the levels of spam spiked sharply in March 2008, the month saw a continuous fall in virus attacks.

Ken O'Driscoll, Chief Technical Officer, IE Internet, said that over 67% of e-mails delivered to Irish inboxes in March 2008 were spam, a steep hike from the 60% level in February 2008. O'Driscoll also said that unlike never before, France was now one of the largest generators of spam sending out over 12% of all spam in March 2008, as reported by siliconrepublic on April 3, 2008.

Figures from IE Internet also suggest that in March 2008, China was responsible for sending 23% of junk e-mails to the Irish mailboxes, while Singapore sent 15% of total spams and Poland 11% of the unsolicited e-mails.

According to O'Driscoll, while the number of attacks from viruses was at a low of 2% in March 2008, the 'iframe' injections showed a dramatic increase from February 2008. These injections prompted surfers to use a new Web browser, a mechanism that was used in about 26% of virus-laced e-mails.

IE Internet's statistics further show that the rates of virus infections had been just 2.06% with the three most prevalent viruses being, W32/Netsky.BR, HTML/IFrame and W32/Netsky.P accounting for 40.58%, 26.09% and 13.04% of infections respectively.

Commenting on the expenditure involved in sending spam, O'Driscoll said that its low costs imply that there might not be any drastic decline in spammers' delivery of junk e-mails.

He added that today, it is not simply one person pushing out junk e-mails from a lone PC rather spammers now hire bunches of compromised computers for distributing their bulk spam, as reported by ENN on April 3, 2008.

O'Driscoll further added that technically, it is very much like a cold war between spammers and the security vendors against spam. For, as soon as spammers find a new method to get past the existing anti-spam technology, vendors are compelled to devise newer approaches to counteract the problem.

According to O'Driscoll, not only technology but also proper legislation is required to end the perennial spam menace.

Related article: March, the Month Of PHP Bugs, Gets Moving

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