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Commtouch Releases its Latest Report on Trends of E-Mail Threats

Commtouch, a software company, on July 7, 2008, released its "E-mail Threats Trend Report" for the second quarter of 2008 (April-June 2008), prepared on an automatic examination of massive volumes of e-mails sent every week. The study analyzes the latest patterns of threat from e-mails, especially the contribution of large numbers of zombie PCs actively distributing malware and spam every day.

The report also revealed that botnets, networks of compromised PCs, are steadily increasing their activities, representing a considerable number of threats to the security of computers.

The study further disclosed that spam levels during Q2 2008 averaged at 77%, covering a range from 64% at the lowest level to 94% at the peak of total e-mails sent at the end of this quarter. The study further indicated that the US fell to the ninth position in hosting of compromised PCs called zombies worldwide, while Turkey occupied the first place with 11% of the total zombies.

Furthermore, according to the report, phishing scams targeted the community of higher education and users of Google Adwords. Also, spammers conducted experiments on Chinese-language spam, while pharmaceutical spam comprising 40% of the total spam was found to be most prolific.

Apart from this, the study concentrated on the waning Storm botnet launched during the massive earthquakes in China in the beginning of 2008. It also focused on the significant number of phishing attempts executed during the tax season.

Commtouch's President and Chief Technology Officer Amir Lev said that botnets or zombie networks have expanded so much that they are inundating mailboxes with more and more malicious threats, as reported by businesswire on July 7, 2008.

Further, according to Lev, many technologies are designed to identify e-mails and block them if they have come from unknown senders who notoriously distribute malicious content. However, these lists are not updated fast enough to catch up with increasing and varied spam. Meanwhile, ISPs are also responsible for safeguarding their service users from unsolicited e-mail, with a simultaneous obligation to make sure their customers do not become part of spam-spewing botnets, Lev added.

Related article: Commtouch Presents E-mail Threat Report for Q4 2007

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