Intriguingly, spam declined as a percentage of overall Internet message traffic in June, according to the folk who measure this kind of thing best. MessageLabs, a provider of managed email security services, said today that the global ratio of spam in email was 1 in 2.6 or 34.4% this month, a decrease of 35.3% over last month’s figures, which peaked at 1 in every 1.8 emails (55.1%) when I wrote about spam earlier this month. This isn’t necessarily good news, though: spam has continued its dramatic increase in 2003, rising 38.5% on the year to date.
Other depressing features:
- Nearly 60-70% of spam is now sent through “hijacked” open-proxy computers: this reflects a disturbing new trend, that viruses are getting more commercially minded, or spammers are getting sleazier, depending on how you look at it. The Sobig viruses, MessageLabs say, “highlighted the growing link between virus-writing and spam techniques in the use of viruses to hijack victims’ computers for mass spam mailings. The Sobig viruses include the ability to install a back-door Trojan on an infected machine that
then renders it vulnerable for use by spammers to utilize the bandwidth of that machine and then send spam messages; this is known as an “open-proxy,” and is a particular problem for “always-on” broadband-type connections.
- June saw viruses increase by 13.6% over the previous month: every 125th email was a virus.
- In the U.S., Marketing, Media, Publishing and Retail industries saw the largest increases in spam in June.