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Spam Reaches New Heights

SoftScan announced today that spam levels have risen sharply in the past month to 89.07%, reaching highs last seen in July. Unlike the summer months though, which bring about misleading statistics as the amount of legitimate email actually drops, SoftScan warns this rise is all due to additional spam.

In July, SoftScan reported that spam levels went as high as 95.95% on one day, in October they reached a record breaking 96%. Although these highs are seen at weekends when there is less business mail, the trend over the entire month has been much higher than seen in the last couple of months. Whether it is set to continue remains to be seen.

“This is bad news,” says Diego d’Ambra, CTO of SoftScan. “The spam highs normally seen in the summer are bought about by the low levels of normal business email as many people are away from work taking their summer holiday. This time levels of legitimate email have stayed the same and instead the spike is purely due to a marked increase of nearly four percent in spam.”

Virus levels have remained low during October accounting for just 0.41% of email scanned by SoftScan, with phishing still remaining the predominant threat. The continuing release of new stration (warezov) variants has pushed it into the top 5 families, with an outbreak taking place yet again today. Finally, Trojan.Small-382, part of the haxdoor (bzub) family, is also prevalent at this time. This malware typically targets Germany, but is now also targeting Denmark and Sweden. Normally spammed to recipients, it is very quickly hitting a large number of mailboxes.

Top 5 viruses in October were:

1 phishing: 66.40%

2 small: 10.04%

3 stration: 8.57%

4 netsky: 4.22%

5 downloader: 2.80%

Désiré Athow

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.