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Global Spam Gushes Out In Full Force

After returning from the Christmas vacation, e-mail inbox full with spam messages could take people by surprise. These spam mails are likely to advertise pharmaceutical items or unbelievably low stock prices. This could be so because even though there has been a drop in the volume of spam mails, still United States is the fourth highest generator of spam in the world.

As per a recent report from MessageLabs, Israel delivers more spam than any other country. In 2006 spam rate there was 75.2%. India was close with 75.1% spam rate and in Hong Kong it rose to 71.7% (compared to 61.6% in 2005). U.S. rates fourth with spam mails decreasing to 63.5% from 77% in 2005. Israel occupied among top five positions having a spam rate of 60.6% (down from 67.3% in 2005).

Talking about spam sources, Patrick Peterson, VP Technology at IronPort Systems told Business Standard that spammers use nearly 1,500 unique domains. While those domains change every 15 minutes, the spam moves out from nearly 100,000 infected PCs called 'zombies'. Some 119 countries generate the worldwide spam. He further said that global spam had become twice more to 60 million per day against 30 million last year.

In all probability spam levels will continue to grow till the end of 2006. In a November 2006 report Mark Sunner, CTO, MessageLabs cautioned that cyber criminals are most active, taking advantage of the holiday season.

The extraordinary growth in spam rate has occurred despite the assurance by Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates about his capacity to crack spam by 2006. He was speaking at the World Economic Forum in 2004. Among others who gave similar assurances was Mark Ratcliffe, COO of Telecom who said that there was a frontal attack prepared against spam on a global basis.

Spammers' techniques involve use of fake names, addresses, phone numbers and other contact details to create 'disposable' accounts at various ISPs. Peterson notes that spammers launch their operations in countries with weak law enforcement such as in Russia, Eastern Europe, China and Nigeria. Some spammers generate 200 million or more mails per day.

Related article: Global State of Spam Points to Increased Use of Text

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