Spam Traffic Risen 40% Since November Says Email Systems

The amount of spam traffic distributed has risen by approximately 40% over the last three months whilst virus traffic has steadily declined on average, according to detailed analysis of hundreds of millions emails by email management specialist Email Systems.

With an overall upward trend and an average now just under 90% of all email, spam shows no sign of abating. Despite numerous specific attacks providing spikes of virus activity and several daily averages where virus mail comprises just over 15% of all email traffic, as a trend, virus traffic has steadily slowed since the beginning of November 2004.

Denial of Service attacks are also becoming alarmingly frequent, with one Email Systems client in the engineering sector receiving a total of 12 million emails during January alone, only 54,000 of which – approximately half of one percent – were legitimate.

Neil Hammerton, Managing Director of Email Systems commented:

“The increasing frequency of Denial of Service attacks means that it is no longer just the multinational corporations who are on the receiving end unfortunately. For example, the attack on our engineering client would quite literally have rendered their domain useless without the provision of an email management service to safeguard its effective use.

“Our latest figures reflect the sharp increase in both the amount of spam traffic and the percentage of spam traffic that has been distributed in the last quarter alone. It’s interesting to note that viruses are currently in a downward trend – but of course virus attacks are by their nature entirely unpredictable and so this could change dramatically from one month to the next.”

Analysis of the specific types of spam emails distributed in December 2004 and January 2005 has also revealed that pornographic Spam emails are up from 6.86% in December to 21.25% of spam mail in January, a rise of approximately 310%. However, more than two in every five spam emails remain medically related – although this category fell by 14% in January (41.69%) from December (48.34%).

Figures also revealed an almost 40% drop in scam mails, from 7.57% of all spam in December to 4.43% in January. Financial offerings dropped significantly from 20.99% in December to 10.37%, a decline of just over 50%.

Neil Hammerton added:

“Following the Christmas period, January is clearly a month when consumers are less motivated to purchase financial products or put money into dubious financial opportunities. Spammers seem to have adapted their output to reflect this, focussing instead on medically motivated and pornographic offers, presumably intentionally intended to coincide with what is traditionally considered to be the bleakest month in the calendar.”

Email Systems manages and monitors the flow of spam and virus infected email messages on behalf of millions of corporate, public sector and domestic users across the UK. For more information, visit or call 0870 141 7070.

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