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Intelligence Report: Spam Levels Increase For The Fifth Straight Month

MessageLabs, a principal integrated messaging and web security services provider to worldwide businesses, announced on March 1, 2007 the outcome of its MessageLabs Security Report for Feb. 2007.

The report highlights the spike in virus, botnet and spam activity, alongwith an inflow of new strategies designed to ward off ongoing threats.

For the fifth month in a row, spam levels keep going northward, representing 77.8% of all e-mail dispatched in February 2007. The hike has been connected to the projected focus on messages related to Valentine's Day.

Intelligence Report by MessageLabs for February 2007 indicates that Valentine's Day and the upsurge of hoaxes and spam it brought with it in 2007 has greatly added to the amount of spam relayed in January 2007. The holiday season came with its own round of malware.

Mark Sunner, Chief Security Analyst, MessageLabs, said in the press release of his company published on MessageLabs' official website on March 1, 2007 that while it's normal to see hackers use seasonal tactics to lure unsuspecting users, the recent surge in malware specific to Valentine's Day proves that it' still effective.

He added that although it's admirable that worldwide law enforcement agencies are trying to address the botnet and spam issues, spammers continue to innovate in terms of both targeting and using new techniques to access the end users.

Also, the firm reported a surge in newly created malware. According to the firm, of all the malware seized in February 2007, 43.9% belonged to a new variety, showing new efforts from malware writers and possibly, new malware distributors entering the landscape.

The report says one in every 112.9 mails carried malware, a rise of 0.05% and one in every 203.7 mails were actually phishing attacks, a drop of 0.58%.

With the threats growing more sophisticated and aggressive in nature, the introduction of mew laws in many countries is welcomed everywhere. Previously, Asia-Pacific was seen as a considerable source of spam mails, but the introduction of 'The Spam Control Bill' in Singapore may help in cutting down overall spam mails level. The Bill is a threat to spammers who spam through email and cell phone as it poses tough penalties and fines of upto US$ 650,000.

Related article: Intel & Symantec To Jointly Launch 'Firmware' Security

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