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Unsolicited E-mails Touch Record High, Says Commtouch Report

Worldwide spam volumes touched the record high of 95% of total e-mails, reaching its zenith in the third quarter, as shown by Commtouch's latest report.

Commtouch's report, named "Email Threats Trend Report for the third quarter of 2007", detected that with the slump in image spam, other types of attachment spam, like the Excel and PDF spam, grew. PDF spam constituted 10% to 15% of overall unsolicited e-mails in the beginning of July 2007 and later declined considerably. But it's not disappeared totally; it still represents 3% to 5% of overall spams. The commonest spam subjects, Pharmaceutics and sexual exciters, constituted 30% and 23%, respectively.

E-mails perpetrating blended threat attack -- or spams with connections to malevolent URLs --represented up to 8 per cent of total worldwide email transfer during the climax of different strikes in the third quarter.

According to news reported by EFYtimes on October 20, 2007, Commtouch's President and Chief Technology Officer, Amir Lev, informed that blended spam manifests the skills of spammers to try and avoid being discovered.

This kind of spam utilizes zombie botnets, a user's unwittingly affected computer, to transmit the spam. Several of these spam assaults concentrated on leisure activities, like sports and computer games. E-mails originating from seemingly legal sites requested customers to download programs like NFL games and computer games.

Though botnets continue to be a great trouble, image spam dropped to a volume of under 5% of total spam, sliding from 30% in the first four months of 2007. Image pump-and-dump scheme, which promotes the purchase and sale of cheap stocks, has also slumped.

Furthermore, Lev told that majority of anti-virus and anti-spam applications are not able to prevent such e-mails, so the malicious software threats easily enter the consumers' machines.

A single upsurge in the mid-quarter utilized over 11,000 zombie IPs to host rogue Internet sites, with 36% US-based zombies and 8% Russian ones.

Lev stated that the spammers keep testing various methods to avoid spam filters and confirm that their e-mails have high reaction rates. Someday, some other file formats like Powerpoint and Word would be utilized to achieve the same end, as reported by Siliconrepublic on October 17, 2007.

Related article: Unsolicited E-mail found to be an Effective Marketing Practice

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