Messaging security service provider Postini Inc, which claims to have blocked 22 billion bad email messages in November alone, estimates that 93% of all email messages now circulating the globe are unwanted spam.
This explosion in the levels of spam passing along communications networks is concerning on two levels, said Postini’s VP of marketing, Dan Druker. Three or four years ago spam was being developed and spread by individual hackers, today it’s organized crime that’s behind it and they are involving criminal networks of highly skilled computing scientists.
The sheer volume of attacks is the other big issue. The number of botnots in circulation that have taken over unsuspecting PCs mean hackers now have an almost infinite capacity for processing and distributing spam messages, he said. It is estimated that the email messages blocked by Postini during November prevented the wasted consumption of 86.5 terabytes of network and processing capacity.
The incorporation of JPEG files and GIF images into spam only adds to the network overhead. Some businesses are in danger of email gateway meltdown, Druker said, unless they take the right precautions.
Postini said it now blocks 12 spam messages for every valid internet email message sent and received. Globally, it has watched the number of spam messages grow by 147% over the last 12 months.