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Junk (SPAM) E-Mail Hits 97% During December 2007

Posted: 08th Jan, 2008 By: MarkJ
Security group SoftScan reports that junk e-mail (SPAM) accounted for a staggering 97.02% of all messages during December 2007. However, just 0.11% of mail contained a virus:

“Once again the rapid increase of spam throughout 2007 demonstrates that there is not enough deterrent for spammers to give up their highly lucrative enterprise,” says Diego d’Ambra, CTO of SoftScan. “Usually, when you look through our monthly statistics, you can quickly identify the weekends or major public holidays when there is less legitimate business email sent as the spam levels jump-up. In December however, except for some slightly lower levels in the first week, spam has remained consistently high throughout the month.”

Although the extreme sustained level of spamming could be attributed to less legitimate email being sent because so many people take time off work during December, SoftScan believes that this is unlikely as the company has not noticed this trend before either in December or in the summer holiday months.

The top five virus families in December 07 were:

1 – phishing: 87.54%
2 – dropper: 4.76%
3 – agent: 2.19%
4 – netsky: 1.24%
5 – downloader: 0.86%

Typically statistics like these seem to very between different companies, with some such as MessageLab's reporting figures more in the region of 70 to 80% (75.6% in November 2007). Either way, the majority of mail continues to be made up of junk messages and governments around the globe appear to be largely ineffective at punishing those responsible.
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