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Virus and spam statistics

Posted by Michael Bloch in online world (Saturday February 18, 2006 )

Commtouch states the logic behind spammers using popular services such as hotmail is that very few services would dare blacklist them given the huge numbers of legitimate users they have. I don’t think that the big guys can be blamed too much for this; spam costs them big time as well and I’m sure that they have many security specialists working day and night to stem the flow.

Spammers are very persistent and patient; block them one way, they soon find a way around it. I’ve seen this happen in real time on a couple of occasions, it was like watching a war happening on our email servers – drove our System Administrator nuts.

In many countries, spam gangs have no trouble in recruiting “mules” – there are thousands of unemployed tech-savvy graduates out there whom do this sort of work as a means of survival rather than greed. Still, that doesn’t make it right.

As I’ve said on countless occasions, until all the governments of the world band together and really crack down on spammers, it will be a war of attrition. Even if 99% of countries do hit them hard, that 1% that turns a blind eye will just become the new haven.

Spam is a huge business, and now that organized crime has it’s hooks into it, I can’t see a resolution in sight.

Read more of the Commtouch report

Learn how spam & viruses wind up in your inbox

Learn more about anti-virus & spam filtering

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According to Commtouch, January 2006 was a shocker in relation to spam and viruses, based on their analysis of over 2 billion email messages.

Key findings

– 19 new significant email virus attacks, with four considered to be “massive” attacks

– The average response time by anti-virus companies to release an update was just over 8 hours

– Over 43% of spam sent originates from USA systems, down from 50% *

– Nearly 13% of spam originates in China

– Leading domains used for spamming are hotmail.com, yahoo.com, msn.com, cisco.com and gmail

Top spam categories for 2006

Drugs (not inc. weight loss & “performance enhancers”) – 52.46%
Gifts – 14.08%
Enhancers and diets – 13.38%
Finance – 7.57%
Software – 6.34%

It’s interesting to note that pornography is consistently no longer in the top 5 these days.

* While the USA may lead the pack as being the originating point of spam, this does not necessarily mean that all those spammers are based in the USA. I’m sure that some of them are based overseas, but using USA based “zombie” machines as conduits. A zombie is a computer that has been compromised, usually without the knowledge of the owner.

Commtouch states the logic behind spammers using popular services such as hotmail is that very few services would dare blacklist them given the huge numbers of legitimate users they have. I don’t think that the big guys can be blamed too much for this; spam costs them big time as well and I’m sure that they have many security specialists working day and night to stem the flow.

Spammers are very persistent and patient; block them one way, they soon find a way around it. I’ve seen this happen in real time on a couple of occasions, it was like watching a war happening on our email servers – drove our System Administrator nuts.

In many countries, spam gangs have no trouble in recruiting “mules” – there are thousands of unemployed tech-savvy graduates out there whom do this sort of work as a means of survival rather than greed. Still, that doesn’t make it right.

As I’ve said on countless occasions, until all the governments of the world band together and really crack down on spammers, it will be a war of attrition. Even if 99% of countries do hit them hard, that 1% that turns a blind eye will just become the new haven.

Spam is a huge business, and now that organized crime has it’s hooks into it, I can’t see a resolution in sight.

Read more of the Commtouch report

Learn how spam & viruses wind up in your inbox

Learn more about anti-virus & spam filtering



 

 
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