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Spam Volume Jumps 35% In November

The volume of spam surged in November to an average of 85 billion messages a day during two periods, IronPort says.

Spam volume soared another 35% in November, an e-mail security vendor said Thursday, and the month saw spam tactics that reduced the efficiency of traditional anti-spam filters.

"There's been a huge increase in spam volume," says David Mayer, a product manager at IronPort Systems, "from 31 billion spams a day on average in October 2005 to 63 billion in October 2006. But in November, we saw two surges that averaged 85 billion messages a day, one from Nov. 13 to 22, the other from Nov. 26 to 28.

"The October-to-November increase is higher than any other month we've measured," Mayer says.

Like other anti-spam vendors, IronPort puts the blame on a surge in botnet use, the increased use of image-based spam, and a rapid rise in the number of URLs registered by spammers. That combination, along with profit-driven innovation, has dramatically changed the spam landscape in 2006, said IronPort, which released its annual trend report earlier this week.

But other trends are at work, says Mayer, including spammers picking up hacker techniques and applying them to the junk mail business.

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