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No Tangible Increase in Spam Levels Since April-May 2007

Spam mail distributors carry on employing their elusive methods on detection tools to deposit their junk messages into users' inboxes, though without making any real gains, says security software provider Symantec Corp.

As per the report, 'State of Spam: June 2007', spam levels on the whole remained unchanged after April and May 2007. Symantec's figures show that spam rate accounts for 65% of all e-mails.

Unfortunately, the security vendor does not possess specific statistics on e-mails matching with external graphics, said Doug Bowers, senior director of anti-abuse engineering at Symantec. CBC News Online published Bowers' statement on June 7, 2007. Symantec analysts have noticed an increasing trend but they are not considering it as a separate classification from the perspective of metrics, Bowers added.

According to the report, about 28% of scanned e-mails were unsolicited e-mails, and 26% of them being phishing e-mails. Image spam referring to graphic messages that are capable of bypassing text-based filters came down to 16% of all e-mails sent out in May 2007. The downward trend of image spam continued from the previous month of April 2007.

The report further says that spam mails in Asia Pacific and Japan regions account for 17% of all scams. The figure is nearly double that of the global 9%. Above all the security researchers determined that scam and fraud e-mails increased to 13% in May 2007, a jump from 9% in March.

In Symantec's definition, scam e-mails are ones that the scammers send to kick start fraudulent activity. Some well-known scams include the Nigerian investment, the pyramid scheme or chain letter scam. Fraud spam has another name 'phishing e-mail', which pretends to come from a legitimate and reputed company. The e-mail enticingly seizes the victim's confidential information.

The most recent spam, according to the report, is invoice spam. In this, scammers create false invoices associated with the name of legitimate businesses. With the invoice spam the scammer tries to collect payments on false bills. The '419' scam originated in Nigeria that sent out a wave of fraudulent e-mails that extorted money from unwitting users in the recent past.

Related article: New Zealand Releases Code To Reduce Spam

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