March of the spam

2 Apr 2007

Last month saw the highest ever amount of spam emails hit Irish inboxes, according to statistics from technology company IE Internet, with 64pc of emails being classed as spam in March.

Back in March 2004, spam accounted for 21pc of emails.

“Spam is big business. The fact that Ireland has seen such a dramatic increase of spam in the past three years means that the emails themselves are getting better at convincing people to part with money,”
said Ken O’Driscoll, chief technical officer with IE Internet. “Also, spammers have been very quick to adapt. They have found ways to avoid detection by many traditional spam filters.”

The US was again the top source of spam, accounting for nearly 20pc more spam than it did in February. This is most likely due to a resurgence of a previously existing zombie army that uses a collection of infected PCs to send out spam without the owners’ knowledge, said IE Internet.

On a more positive note, the virus rate remains low with very few new viruses being recorded. “It will be interesting to see how the virus rate progresses over the next year as more new computers come with Microsoft Vista, which has enhanced virus protection”, said O’Driscoll.

IE Internet manages over 35,000 business email users.

By Niall Byrne