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97% of email is spam: Microsoft

Posted by Michael Bloch in online world (Friday April 10, 2009 )

According to Microsoft, over 97 percent of e-mail messages sent over the Internet are unwanted.

By unwanted, Microsoft means they have malicious attachments, are phishing attacks or spam.

These days, most folks wouldn’t be aware of just how much spam is out there due to their ISP’s implementing filtering software; but even that isn’t foolproof, so many also utilize plug-in spam filters for additional protection.

According to Microsoft’s Security Intelligence Report volume 6 (July through December 2008) released a few days ago, as in previous periods, spam in during the reporting period was primarily product advertisements, mostly pharmaceutical products (48.6 percent of the total). Add to that non-pharmacy product ads (23.6 percent of the total), product advertisements accounted for 72.2 percent of spam during the second half of 2008.

The Microsoft report also states that rogue security software has increased significantly over the past three periods. Rogue security software uses tactics to convince users to pay for “full versions” of the software in order to remove and protect themselves from malware, to stop the continual alerts and warnings, or both.

For browser-based attacks on Windows XP–based machines, Microsoft vulnerabilities made up 40.9 percent of the total, down from 42.0 percent in the first half of 2008. On Windows Vista–based machines, the Microsoft proportion was much smaller, accounting for just 5.5 percent of the total, down from 6.0 percent during the first half of 2008.

This could be read as either Microsoft getting better at addressing security issues, or more folks making the switch to browsers such as FireFox; which, contrary to popular belief; is by no means immune to security problems – but even this die-hard Internet Explorer fanboy finally made the transition to full time FireFox use a few months ago. I’m sorry Bill, I hung on for as long as I could – we had some good times together though, didn’t we? :).

Anyhow, you can download the full Microsoft’s Security Intelligence Report volume 6 here

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