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98 percent of UK email traffic is spam

A report published IronPort systems entitled "Internet Security Trends Report 2008" estimates that UK inboxes receive on average 20 billion spam emails on a daily basis, double the rates of 2006.

UK internet users are amongst the most targetted as we receive nearly 17 percent of all the spam spewed worldwide - estimated at 120 billion a day. Spam is also a huge business worth GBP 100 billion worldwide.

IronPort European product manager Jason Steer argues that "2007 marks a turning point for threats in the UK. Just when malware design seemed to have reached a plateau, new attack techniques have emerged, some so complex - and obviously not the work of amateurs - they could have only been designed by means of sophisticated research and development,"

"For a time, security controls designed to manage malware were working. But, as a result of this success, the threats they protected against were forced to change," he said.

He reckons that Social Networking will prove to be a boon for Spammers who will find a way to harvest personal details and make spam emails even more convincing.

Techworld (opens in new tab) also reports that "Today's spam was still dominated by pharmaceutical and stock-pumping scams, which together account for 60 percent of the phenomenon in 2006. Attack types appear to have diversified at an astonishing rate in the last year, rising from the single 2006 innovation - image spam – to around 20 types of attachment ruse in the last year, including the use of PDFs and MP3 files."

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.