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Spam Dominates E-mail

Postini, a messaging security firm based in San Carlos, California estimates that nearly 86 percent of all e-mail traffic is spam. During the month of May, Postini processed more than 25 billion e-mail messages, a 13 percent increase from April, and they found that 86 percent of the traffic was "malicious or unwanted" content. Of the 25 billion e-mail messages, an astounding 65 percent of those messages were detected and discarded at the network layer, the only place to stop attacks like directory harvest attacks, and denial of service attacks (DoS). These messages had absolutely no content in the body of the message to analyze with standard filtering techniques.

Instant messaging spam soared by 500 percent last month and this caused more concerns and headaches for corporate IT departments because the businesses are now embracing this technology for customer communications. There has been an increase of 138 percent in their own usage of Instant Messaging (IM).

The Federal Trade Commission has warned all the veterans to be wary of e-mail scams that are out to take advantage of their fears arising out of the theft of a computer containing sensitive information on 26.5 million vets and active duty service members. The FTC told veterans and their families to watch out for phishing attacks that pose as notifications from the government. The fraudsters have earlier made attempts to scam people into divulging their personal information by e-mail.

Andrew Lochart, senior director of marketing for Postini, said that the cyber criminals like malware writers now use a two-pronged approach of e-mail and IM to attack enterprise communication infrastructure.

Lochart added that the use of IM as a mainstream business communications tool by organizations has prompted hackers to adopt IM for their attacks. With most of the organizations still unprotected against IM malware, the companies now face a threat of hackers from two attack fronts.

Related article: Spam Scam Bags a Scottish Connection

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