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Spam Levels Soaring since June 2007

Software Security Company SoftScan announced on October 2, 2007 that the level of spam over the Internet had gone up by 39% in September 2007. The total volume of spam mails that SoftScan blocked was 93.51%, with amounts close to or more than 98% on some eventful days. Further, although the level of viruses continued to be relatively low, SoftScan observed that malware activity changed as each day experienced a fresh virus attack.

CTO of SoftScan, Diego d'Ambra said that since June 2007, the company had noted a 95% increase in the volume of spam that it blocked every month. Sourcewire published d'Ambra's statement on October 2, 2007. Network administrators of organizations that depended only on spam filters possibly suffered a nightmare during the recent months, commented d'Ambra.

SoftScan noted that in the first few days of September 2007, the spam levels slid down to 88%, but after that, they have been consistently high in rest of the month. The company had predicted in August 2007 that the level of spam would go up by 40% in September, and spammers would be aiming their targets on students getting back to colleges and universities after their summer holidays, as their surfing practices make them favorite targets for authors of malware.

The number of targets appears to touch peak levels overnight, each year, according to d'Ambra. SoftScan feels the students' computers are already infected before they return to the campuses. Over and above, a high-speed connection helps in spreading significant spam without them realizing it. Such machines are called spam zombies.

According to SoftScan estimates, the spam surge is likely to stay through October 2007. It is expected that the numbers will accumulate by 40% with increases in spam zombies from the high-bandwidth networks at the universities.

The study by the security firm also suggests that the volume of viruses in total traffic in September 2007 was low at 0.14% only. But there was a fresh virus attack every day.

The top ranking viral families that SoftScan detected in September 2007 were phishing at 71%, freegame -7%, football -4%, downloader -4%, and netsky -3%.

Related article: Spam Scam Bags a Scottish Connection

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