Virus-infected emails hit all-time low

10 Mar 2008

The rate of virus infection in emails aimed at Irish users hit an all-time low of 2.61pc in February, down from 4.17pc in January, messaging security company IE Internet has revealed.

The rate of spam has also dropped to more familiar levels of 60pc for February, following a high in January of 63pc.

“We would expect to see a drop in the rate of spam at the beginning of the year,” commented Ken O’Driscoll, chief technical officer, IE Internet.

“The reduction of viruses to almost negligible levels is really a result of how good the industry has become at protecting our customers from viruses,” he added.

“The virus spreaders have to resort to other ways of infecting machines. One of the common ways we are seeing now when monitoring traffic is to use the ‘i-frame’ tag in an email. Although not technically a virus, it invites the end user to open a new frame in the background, which then runs a virus on their machine.”

The main sources of spam coming into Irish inboxes were: the US (51.91pc of spam), China (21.32pc), Poland (13.71pc), Germany (5.19pc) and Japan (5.17pc).

The main viruses targeting Irish email users were: W32/Netsky.BR@mm (17.21pc of viruses), W32/Zafi.B@mm (15.85pc), HTML/I-Frame (7.92pc) and W32/Zafi.D@mm (6.49pc).

Statistics were based on email traffic through 35,000 business email users, IE Internet said.

By Niall Byrne