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Spam rises 280% since 2007

added by Michael on 11 Aug 2008

According to Pocket-Lint, research from ClearMyMail in the UK shows a disturbing trend. 

ClearMyMail says it blocked an average of 30,846 spam emails per customer between April and June, compared to just 8156 between January and March.


Dan Field, managing director of ClearMyMail, said: "These statistics are becoming increasingly worrying and for the average amount of spam blocked per person to have nearly quadrupled in the last three months suggests that action desperately needs to be taken."

Ars Technica reports that Secure Computing has released its quarterly report, and that one of the more disturbing trends isn't really a surprise: spam volume is up 280 percent since 2007. 

Spam volume is up year-on-year, but peaked on March 27, at 185 billion messages, and has dropped some 40 percent since. Botnet growth has similarly dropped from last year's Storm-fueled peak, but while the number of new zombie-fied systems appearing per day has fallen from 300,000 to 150,000, the botnets themselves are pumping out record amounts of spam. The implication, it seems, is that while botnets are smaller and growing more slowly than they did last year, their operators are using them more efficiently. Alternatively, the computers themselves may be staying zombie-fied for a longer period of time.


Zlob seems to be the bug driving this trend, and as Trojans go, it's fairly well-rounded. Zlob functions as both keylogger and backdoor, and can relay sensitive data while simultaneously providing full system access to its botnet masters. SecureComputing notes that these sort of spyware families are responsible for much of the recent botnet growth, especially when combined with the increasing prevalence of rootkits as part of a malware package.


The United States continues to be the primary launch pad for all things spammish at 16.56 percent of the total volume, followed by Russia (6.71 percent), Turkey (6.51 percent), Brazil (5.29 percent) and Italy (4.32 percent). Spammers continue to believe that every male on earth suffers from terminally low self-esteem; advertisements for male enhancement products make up 39.5 percent of all spam, followed by fake product advertising, prescription drugs, and gambling. The amount of malware in languages other than English is also growing, and exceeded 50 percent for the first time this past quarter.Speaking English is an asset in the malware industry, but being multilingual is increasingly valued.