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The Deadly Duo - Spam and Viruses - September 2004

  |  October 19, 2004   |  Comments

Hurricanes slowed spam for a few days in September.

Spam volume took a hit for a number of days in September, not due to forces of technology, but rather to forces of nature. According to FrontBridge Technologies, three separate hurricanes caused a "significant decline" in spam for a few days following their impact.

The day after Hurricane Frances' hit, spam declined 7 percent (from 89 percent down to 82 percent); after Hurricane Ivan it dropped 7 percent; and after Hurricane Jeanne, spam fell 6 percent.

Despite the temporary slowdown, even hurricane winds weren't powerful enough to overcome the continuing spam trends. Frontbridge reported spam volume for September had a monthly average of 85 percent (up 3 percentage points from their August numbers). On September 12th, spam volume hit a record peak of 91 percent.

"It's known that a large proportion of the world's most notorious spammers reside in Florida," FrontBridge spokesperson Jeremiah Glodoveza told ClickZ Stats. "Locations throughout the state were hit hard by power outages, making it difficult for spammers to generate as much volume."

"But we're quickly seeing spam levels increase significantly as they make up for lost time and money," Glodoveza added.

Recent Spam Volume
September 2004 85%
August 2004 82%
July 2004 80%
June 2004 78%
May 2004 75%
April 2004 76%
March 2004 73%
February 2004 69%
January 2004 72%
Source: FrontBridge Technologies

Top Twenty: Three families dominate, old viruses put to pasture

According to data from Russian-based security firm Kaspersky Labs, September 2004 has the dubious distinction of being the first month in which only viruses created in this calendar year appear in its Top 20 virus list. Viruses and other malware created before 2004 that had previously lingered around (like once-popular Swen and Sobig.f) have now dropped from the list. Eighty percent of the top 20 viruses on Kaspersky's list are from only three families: Bagle, Netsky and Mydoom.

September 2004 Top Twenty
Ranking Virus Name Percentage
1. I-Worm.Netsky.q 21.67%
2. I-Worm.Netsky.aa 13.79%
3. I-Worm.Zafi.b 12.70%
4. I-Worm.Netsky.b 9.63%
5. I-Worm.Mydoom.m 5.34%
6. I-Worm.Bagle.z 4.86%
7. I-Worm.Netsky.d 4.55%
8. TrojanDownloader.JS.Gen 4.41%
9. I-Worm.Netsky.t 2.51%
10. I-Worm.Netsky.y 1.62%
11. I-Worm.Lovgate.w 1.41%
12. I-Worm.Bagle.as 1.35%
13. I-Worm.Mydoom.l 1.11%
14. I-Worm.Netsky.r 1.08%
15. I-Worm.Mydoom.t 0.93%
16. I-Worm.Bagle.gen 0.86%
17. I.Worm.Netsky.c 0.83%
18. TrojanDropper.VBS.Zerolin 0.73%
19. I-Worm.Bagle.ah 0.62%
20. I-Worm.Mydoom.u 0.51%
Others 9.49%
Note: The table above represents the most prevalent
viruses for September 2004, number one being the
most frequent.
Source: Kaspersky Labs


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