January spam blues for Ireland

4 Feb 2008

The level of spam flooding email inboxes in Ireland shot up to 63.28pc in January, a trend similar to recent years, says messaging and email security company IE Internet.

“The spam problem is certainly not diminishing. To put it into context: in 2004 the rate of spam for the whole year did not exceed 30pc. In only four years, we have seen a doubling of that rate,” observed Ken O’Driscoll, chief technical officer with IE Internet.

The majority of spam coming to Irish shores currently originates from the US, which contributed 43.18pc of all our spam in January 2008, with Germany surprisingly supplying 39.77pc, a level which never occurred before.

“Our investigation shows the German spam traffic to be a specific offshore business using rented space in a major German centre as opposed to a German-wide problem,” noted O’Driscoll.

While the US and Germany count for most of the spam generation, Poland and France were also high on the list, according to IE Internet’s statistics.

However, as spam levels remain high, email-based viruses stay at a low 4.17pc with the same viruses in circulation over the last few months.

“It’s not that people have stopped writing viruses, it’s just that we as a security community have become so effective at blocking email viruses that attackers are moving away from email and using new methods such as websites,” said O’Driscoll.

Although 63.28pc seems like a hefty amount of spam to weed out before a user is left with genuine email, it could be worse. During the Christmas period, Irish consulting and technical services company IT Force found that 95pc of all email was spam.

By Marie Boran