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More than 70% of E-mails Intercepted in January 2009 were Spam

Security company MessageLabs in its report titled 'MessageLabs Intelligence Report' has revealed that the worldwide spam volume increased 4.9% in January 2009 over December 2008, reaching a level of 74.6%. The volume was nearly the same as those observed prior to the shutdown of the service provider McColo in November 2008, reports MessageLabs.

Among the chief spam campaigns during January 2009, the report names three of them. The first related to spam mails that promoted artificially valued penny stock and shares in significant amounts. Possibly, a lot of these spam mails were sent from CAPTCHA created illegitimate e-mail addresses.

Security experts state that given the ongoing financial crisis, this opportunity to raise the capital out of very low investment might appear extremely attractive for someone who is facing lots of difficulties in acquiring credit through usual sources.

Meanwhile, the second prominent spam scam was dispatching fraudulent e-mails aimed to help terrorist organizations to meet their goals. Spam messages that used the topic of the Gaza conflict are one such example. In this, spammers sent e-mails posing as breaking news of Israel bombarding Gaza. The messages also carried a web link to the Al Jazeera English Report video that in reality produced a Trojan virus.

Additionally, there were also a large amount of spam mails in January involving the recent victory of President Barack Obama and his oath-taking ceremony. spammers sent out e-mails that offered passes to recipients to attend the ceremony. However, these passes were either bogus but they carried a price or free that could be obtained on clicking a particular link that downloaded a Trojan on the system.

Lastly, other significant type of spam outbreak was one that attempted to cheat users into going to malicious Internet sites that eventually led to destructive executables.

Earlier in 2008, security specialists had forecasted botnet resurgence involving cyber criminals enhancing the technology necessary for such networks, making botnets the forerunners of new threats. Now it seems cyber criminals have proved the forecast right given the increase in the number and power of their new bots.

Related article: More Requests For Better E-Mail and Spam Control

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