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Wednesday, 03 September 2008 20:09

Spam Eating Surrender Monkeys

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The French are best known for their love of romance, wine and fine dining. Now they have another claim to fame, as a spam magnet...

MessageLabs has just published its Intelligence Report for August 2008, and it reveals the usual smorgasbord of spam and security statistics.

Italy showed the largest increase in virus activity, up 2.75 percent, and it also had the largest increase in spam levels with a 13.9 percent jump to 71.3 percent of all email by volume being considered spam.

Australia had spam levels of 66.5 percent in August, just behind the United Kingdom on 67.9 percent. Above them both were Canada on 70.8 percent, the Netherlands on 73.1 percent and the United States on 76.6 percent.

China could only manage second place in the hall of spam shame, with 78.3 percent of all email by volume being of the junk variety.

The surprise winner, although loser seems much more appropriate, were the French. With their spam volumes increasing by 3.5 percent last month, France became the most spammed country on the planet by reaching a spam saturation level of 82.8 percent.

If you look at the vertical trends, then spam within the automotive sector was the highest riser up by 6.3 percent to 83.6 percent. The biggest decline going to engineering, where spam levels fell by 7 percent to 68.5 percent.
 
When it comes to virus levels in spam, most industry sectors saw an increase during August. The highest being for education, with an infection rate up by 1.52 percent to 1 in 28.9 emails containing malware.

There was no decrease in virus levels for any sector during August.

The spam stat of note concerns Google, again. This time the MessageLabs analysis highlights the fact that Picasa Web Albums becomes the latest of the Google hosted services to get the spam exploitation treatment.

"Over the course of this year, spammers have been highly focused on using as many of Google's free, hosted services as possible to distribute spam," said Mark Sunner, Chief Security Analyst, MessageLabs. "Not only are the links contained within the spam emails difficult for traditional anti-spam filters to detect as they appear to be legitimate URLs, but it is also much more unlikely such filters will block emails based on the URLs they contain without causing significant collateral damage."

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