Posts Tagged spam

Microsoft’s Security Intelligence Report

Microsoft’s latest Security Intelligence Report came out today detailing the changing threat landscape, among other analyses of malware, software vulnerability, privacy, and the like.  For those who may not want to read the entire 184 page report cover to cover, Larry Dignan, Editor in Chief of ZDnet, gives a summary of the top five points to take away from the report.

One interesting aspect from the report was the following graph depicting the malware infection rates by region.  Gizmodo notes that Myanmar and Ethiopia run a pretty tight ship, as noted by their favorable green coloring.  And while the U.S. may not be as bad as Russia or Brazil, Larry Dignan notes that Malware is still dominant in the U.S. and accounts for 67% of all infected computers.

Another interesting fact from the report is that Microsoft’s cyber security team concluded that spam is up to 97% of all emails.  This is 3% higher than Google’s reportings from Postini in their Spam Data and Trends: Q1 2009 report, which I referenced in my post from March 31st.

With all of the increasing fears around malware and viruses, it’s no wonder that fake security software is gaining ground.  Microsoft reports that simply by double clicking the icon, the rogue software is launched.  It then claims to have detected a bunch of non-existant infections on your computer, which you then must protect by paying for their services.  And voila, the rogue anti-virus software has infiltrated your system just like that – something my coworker, Lillian, discovered all too well just weeks ago when something similar happened on her computer – better luck next time Lil’.


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According to today’s New York Times article by Brad Stone, Spam Back to 94% of All E-mail, spam is on the rise again after the McColo Corp crisis back in November.  Stone reports that just “this year, average spam volumes have increased about 1.2% each day.”


Yikes!  So what are people doing to combat this problem?


One solution I recently found was from an email I received indicating that my intended recipient’s inbox was protected by ChoiceMail One, a DigiPortal Software product.  Since my email address was not on their list of “approved senders,” it needed verification.  It asked me to verify that I did in fact send the email by entering my name, my reason for sending the email, and then a verification code to ensure I am a real live person and not a spamming virus.  And the good news is, the ChoiceMail One email didn’t look like spam!


This was the first email I had received like that, but I’m sure as spam levels continue to increase, there will be more and more anti-spam software on the market.  For now, at least, my Gmail account does a pretty good job of filtering out spam through Postini, an anti-spam company and division of Google, which just release some interesting data from their Spam data and trends: Q1 2009 piece posted today.

Here’s hoping spam predictions will soon be on the decline, but in the mean time, happy anti-spamming!

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