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Spam - definitely on the rise says Barracuda

A report just out from Barracuda Networks says that there has been a significant spike (67 per cent) in overall spam over the last three months.

Incredibly, however, the IT security firm says that image spam has increased by around 500 per cent over the same period, mainly due to spammers taking a more innovative approach to their emails.

According to Stephen Pao, the company's vice president, there has been a surge in `penny stocks' which are being hyped in spammed email.

Pao added that the the volume of other forms of spam messages have also recently increased, including messages pitching diet pills and other drugs.

"Across the board, we are observing more spam and more sophistication in sending the spam." he noted.

So what's the solution? After seeing colleagues grapple with network-based anti-spam systems such as MessageLabs' offering, which is good, if a tad pricey and tricky to configure, I've concluded that pooled systems, such as Cloudmark, are the best option.

These work by using standard spam-spotting analysis techniques to get rid of most spam, but also call upon users to flag any crap that gets through as spam, and the central database is duly updated...