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Unprecedented Spam Volumes for this Festive Season

During some past years, specifically in 2004, the rate of spam was only 70% of total e-mail. But these days, spam mails are overwhelming New Zealand inboxes.

According to Vice President of products for global security, Bradley Anstis, at Marshal, the levels of spam are currently much higher than the rates so far. The New Zealand Herald published this in news on December 14, 2007.

Anstis said that although a hike during the ongoing festive season is nothing unexceptional, but since spam levels remained high throughout the year on account of botnets, there has been an explosion of junk e-mails.

Anstis said that the festive season brings with it plenty of spam, advertising gift products like cheap watches, handbags, lighters and pens. Even Viagra pills are heavily advertised.

An analysis of the Barracuda Networks in the US, which estimated spam mails to account for 95% of total e-mail in 2007, prompted Anstis to comment that the figure is perhaps "at the high end", and to add that the installation base of Barracuda was more US-focused. According to him, Marshall server's put international sampling estimates spam at 77.4%.

Other security experts note that ISPs' e-mail filters delete spam mails before they reach inboxes. Still, spam mails continued to increase despite legislation against spam in nations like the US and New Zealand. Anstis is definite that the Internet providers in New Zealand require being extremely careful.

He said that Ihug, the second largest Kiwi ISP and Xtra, another Kiwi ISP, are known to have failed in handling high loads, and the current time of 2007 like always is sure to be worse. However, Ihug has still not encountered any serious hike in spam levels.

The major spam techniques used in the past years have been botnets and Image spam in 2006, Rotating URL spam in 2005, Automated spam generation in 2004, and Open relays, spoofing and blast e-mails in 2003.

A survey was conducted by Symantec on the web security and storage habits of SMBs in New Zealand and Australia. Steve Martin, mid-market manager of New Zealand and Australia at Symantec, said that SMBs are adopting measures to save their confidential information. With substantial rise in bot networks, spam, phishing, zero-day exploits and Trojans, it's important for SMBs to take protective measures to fight these dangers.

Related article: University Reports Increase in Spam

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