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Spam Levels Highest Since 2007

Posted: July 1, 2009

An astounding amount of about 90.4% of all e-mail messages is considered to be spam.

According to MessageLabs, a security research firm, spam levels have remained the same since the month of May which is said to be 90% of all email traffic for the month of June. The majority of the spam messages are a result of botnets which accounts for about 83% of the spam messages. The remainder portion of spam remains to be sourced from compromised mail servers or hacked webmail accounts.

Spam messages are basically a serious epidemic when you take into consideration the number of botnets that perform automated tasks in such a manor to account for 90% of all email traffic. Botnets from the Conficker worm to Mebroot, which was designed to steal personal data, have seriously plagued the internet through their ability to run uninterrupted automated tasks. Using such automated tools puts hackers in a position to spread malware via spam messages like never before.

The ultimate goal of a spammer is to gain some type of monetary gain for his or her efforts. Recent spam messages are known to take advantage of popular news stores, offer a computer user some type of bogus software or even exploit the death of Michael Jackson. Just recently the release of the new iPhone and Iran were used as subjects for spammers to cash-in on.

Image spam is now being blamed for a considerable rise in spam activities since the month of May. An image spam message is one that comes with an attached image instead of one hosted remotely. Many of these messages include background noise patters which are automatically generated. Computer users are usually totally unaware of such an attachment which could lead to the installation of malware or redirecting them to a malicious site.

Spammers and cyber attackers will always find new ways of spreading their malicious files and applications through bogus email messages. What ways have you found to combat the massive amounts of spam messages sent through email lately?