CipherTrust Study Reveals More Than 20 Percent of New Zombies Originate in China

ATLANTA–(BUSINESS WIRE)–April 20, 2005–CipherTrust, Inc., the leader in messaging security, today released findings of an analysis of real-world e-mail messages collected from companies worldwide using IronMail, the Company’s award-winning messaging security appliance. The analysis confirms the significant threat presented by the dramatic growth in the number of new zombies per day. In addition, the updated study reveals a decrease in the number of spam e-mails originating in the United States.

Throughout the month of March and first half of April 2005, CipherTrust researchers conducted an analysis of data received from the Company’s global network of IronMail appliances, which protect more than 10 million enterprise e-mail inboxes globally. According to the study, an average of 157,000 new zombies are identified each day, with more than 20 percent originating in China. A zombie is a machine typically connected to a broadband connection that is maliciously infected by a worm or virus without the owners’ knowledge. Once a machine is infected, the new zombie awaits instructions from zombie network operators that range from launching a Denial of Service (DoS) attack to sending spam and phishing e-mails through the zombie machine.

“While the information regarding the number of new zombies per day and the percent originating from China is staggering, it’s not necessarily surprising given the number of new Internet users in China. Unprotected computers around the world are vulnerable to compromise within minutes of connecting to the Internet,” said Dr. Paul Judge, CipherTrust chief technology officer. “These zombies are then used for all sorts of nefarious activities, including sending spam and viruses. CipherTrust is focused on protecting both large and small enterprises from threats proliferating via unwanted e-mails. However, as powerful as our technology is, it’s only one part of the solution. Therefore, we continue to recommend that end-user education regarding specific security issues and threats also will have a significant impact on ensuring a secure messaging environment.”

In addition, CipherTrust updated its findings related to origins of spam by message count. The Company found that approximately 56.77 percent of all spam originates in the United States. Although this number is down from nearly 86 percent during June and July 2004, the United States still ranks highest in terms of spam originations. South Korea ranks second highest with 15.67 percent, which grew 12.67% over the past eight months.

The exponential increase in unwanted e-mail has had a wide ranging impact on organizations. Not only costing money in wasted disk storage and valuable administration and employee time, unwanted mail carries dangerous payloads such as viruses, worms and Trojans. According to the most recent CipherTrust research, the following viruses rank as the top ten e-mail viruses during March:

1. Netsky: 51.16%
2. Sober: 14.79%
3. Bagle: 8.10%
4. MyDoom: 6.00%
5. Lovgate: 5.49%
6. Zafi: 5.12%
7. Bagz: 4.51%
8. Sobig: 2.90%
9. Mytob: 0.86%
10. Dumaru: 0.27%

This research is part of CipherTrust’s ongoing effort to identify the latest messaging security threats. For additional information, please visit

About CipherTrust, Inc.

CipherTrust, Inc. is the leader in messaging security. Recognized by IDC as the market leader, the Company’s award-winning IronMail appliance protects the messaging systems of more enterprise e-mail users than any other solution, including more than 30 percent of the Fortune 100. CipherTrust pioneered messaging security by uniquely combining the five critical e-mail security components of spam and fraud prevention, virus and worm protection, policy and content compliance, e-mail privacy, and intrusion prevention into a single easy to deploy and manage platform. The Company is backed by top tier investors including Battery Ventures and Greylock Partners. For more information about CipherTrust, please visit or call 877.448.8625.

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