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November Saw Spam Mails Jump By 35%

Spam volume reached a high by another 35% in November 2006, according to an e-mail security vendor on December 21, 2006. The month also saw spam techniques overwhelming traditional anti-spam filters. As per predictions by IronPort, the spam surge will continue in 2007. Its magnitude will shatter the global e-mail infrastructure and delay legitimate e-mail.

In the opinion of Tom Gillis, some well-organized global gangs use spam, phishing, malware, and viruses as tools to profit from a range of online criminal activities. Tom Gillis is senior vice president, global marketing for IronPort Systems. He has also authored the firm's report on 'Internet Security Threats'.

There have been two massive jumps in spam mails, says David Mayer, IronPort's product manager. On average spam mails increased from 31 billion a day in October 2005 to 63 billion in October 2006. In November 2006, there have been two waves averaging 85 billion mails a day, one from November 13 to 22 and another from November 26 to 28. According to Mayer the increase in spam mails during October-November 2006, has been highest in all the months that the company had measured.

The high-tech spam groups have set a detailed infrastructure that covers the entire globe. As many as 120 different countries have been delivering innumerable spam messages, originating from 100,000 distinct servers.

Today the most widely sent spams are pharmaceutical spam and stock scam spam. Stock scams leaped to 30% of all spam in 2006 from a 10% of total spam in 2005.

While virus writers develop techniques, spammers adopt them into new variants of spam. With every new technique they send out a small trial quantity to assess its effectiveness against spam filters. Once they feel comfortable with the success of the experiment, they launch attacks on a larger scale.

To conquer the battle against spam, Gillis suggests that corporate security officers pought to measure quality solutions with respect to e-mail & web capabilities in combating sophisticated threats. An e-mail device and a Web-security gateway having a common threat database are the most optimum defense against the next generation of Internet threats.

Related article: November DDoS Assault Size Seen like Never before in 2011: Prolexic

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