Spam Rates Rebound

After several months of slipping spam rates, junk mail rebounds during February. (Courtesy: TechWeb)

March 8, 2006

1 Min Read
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After several months of slipping spam rates, junk mail rebounded during February, message filtering company Postini said Tuesday.

According to Postini's data, spam grew by two percent over the previous month.

"The increase in spam was due to an increase in tax preparation offers and other financial service offerings," said Andrew Lochart, Postini's senior director of marketing. It's usual to see a spike in financial-oriented spam during the run-up to the April 15 tax-filing deadline, he added.

Spam accounted for 73 percent of all mail sent during February, Postini's data showed, although some days were significantly above that average. On Feb. 18, for instance, 82 percent of all mail was classified as spam by the San Carlos, Calif. company. The number was almost as high Tuesday: 81 percent.

Virus-carrying mail, meanwhile, slipped back to its usual 1.5 percent of all messages, after a bump up in January due to the Kama Sutra (aka MyWife, aka Nyxem) worm, which was widely distributed prior to a Feb. 3 trigger date when it was to delete files. Kama Sutra, however, turned out to be a bust."MyWife ranked only eighth on Postini's top ten viruses for the month," said the company in a statement. The worm is currently ninth on Postini's list.

The volume of phishing attacks also fell in February, and were 65 percent lower than during January. But Postini's numbers conflict with those from other sources, which while noting a slackening of phishing during the middle of 2005, have claimed record-setting phishing levels already this year.

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