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Spam Reach Peak Levels

Short and single incidences across the Internet and reports on Web monitoring programs by security vendors indicate that Trojan operations and denial of service attacks have been continuously growing around the world during the past few months.

Spam activity is at its peak, according to security vendors, and technology managers are struggling to cut it. Security vendor Marshal through its 'Threat Research and Content Engineering' (TRACE) team reported a growth in spam volume by 280% since October 2006. Marshal has its headquarters in Basingstoke and regional offices in U.S. and New Zealand.

Marshal's TRACE team watched the movement of spam traffic via 'honeypots' situated in 18 countries and found spam volume to increase by 30% during last week, smashing global records.

Spam mails now account for 85% of total e-mails received and this is likely to reach 90% by the end of 2007 if there is no change in spam activity, according to Bradley Anstis, Director of Product Management for Marshal in ComputerWorld's news publication. Anstis added that out of every batch of 10 e-mails, 8 are spam. A new active botnet of computers in Asia is perhaps the cause of the region's extended spam.

Spam coming out of China and South Korea is also on a rise mainly due to 'out-of-control' botnets of zombies of unprotected home PCs, Anstis said. Many users and government offices of these areas lack the knowledge of anti-malware products, whose absence encourages botnets.

Anstis believes the solution rests on government-supporting ISPs to enforce content filtering and compelling users to deploy malware protection programs. Websense A/NZ country manager and member of Anti-Phishing Working Group, Joel Camissar, called for a spam-filtering program at the national level to end spam.

Spammers are successfully applying social engineering tactics in their phishing attacks. A research by SophosLabs in 2006 found that the bulk of phishing e-mails (around 75%) targeted eBay and PayPal.

According to Camissar, it is possible to eradicate spam if ISPs joined together to filter incoming e-mails. This would not be too complex a task as only eight or nine pipes connect local ISPs to other parts of the world.

Related article: Spam Scam Bags a Scottish Connection

» SPAMfighter News - 3/6/2007

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