Email volume set to double in two months unless rate of spam slows

If the amount of spam and viruses being distributed continues to rise at its current rate, the quantity of email traffic online could well double yet again in as little as two months’ time, potentially affecting every unprotected user of email, according to email management specialist Email Systems.
 
Spam levels have historically risen month on month – but since July 2006 the trend has considerably worsened, with spammers significantly changing tactics which has resulted in the start of a sudden, exponential rise in volumes of traffic. Since that time, email traffic has grown by approximately 25% to 35% month on month, resulting in the overall quantity now being more than triple its level just four months ago.
 
This massive growth in traffic is the result of spammers no longer distributing a single mail to a large number of recipients, instead preferring to distribute individual spam mails to individual email addresses, each featuring a minute change of some type in an attempt to mark the message as unique and thereby evade detection. One of the current trends amongst virus writers is for their viruses to allow spammers to utilise infected machines to distribute messages on their behalf. Consequently, spammers can now call upon a global arsenal of millions of “zombie spam machines’, potentially at the touch of a button.
 
As a result of the change in strategy, many business email users have been put under tremendous strain in recent months, with those using a network-based means of blocking spam and viruses – ie localised software or hardware – simply unable to cope with the incoming volumes. Although Email Systems customers remain protected as a result of the service being web-based and continued investment in the technology infrastructure behind the service, the company has witnessed many major scale denial of service attacks for businesses of all sizes in recent months.




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