Holiday season drives a higher than expected spike in spam volume.
Spam volume spiked upward a full 19 percent from October to November, accounting for 88 percent of all email sent in November, according to email security vendor Postini.
Of the 6.9 billion messages processed by Postini in November, nearly 6.1 billion qualified as instances of malicious spam, phishing, viruses, and so-called "directory harvest" attacks, which are attempts to hijack entire corporate email directories via enterprise servers for spamming purposes.
That spike in spam activity went above the expected seasonal increase during the holiday shopping season, said Steve Kahan, vice president of Postini.
"We saw a pretty significant increase in attacks, specifically on small- and medium-sized businesses in November," Kahan said. "Unlike the larger corporations, a lot of small- and mid-sized players don’t have the resources to combat these kinds of attacks."
Spam volume had been on the decline for the two preceding months, falling to 69 percent of all email traffic in October, according to Postini data.
Spam by Country
A new report by anti-spam/virus software company Sophos, meanwhile, finds that the United States continues to lead the world in originating these spam attacks, accounting for over two out of every five (42.1 percent) spam emails sent throughout the world. South Korea was second with just under 14 percent (13.4 percent), followed by China (including Hong Kong), which originated 8.4 percent.
|Top Spamming Coutries|
|China incl. Hong Kong||8.4%|
|Source: Sophos Plc.|
Top Viruses of 2004
Among the most prevalent viruses of the year, variants of the Worm/Netsky virus captured five of the top ten slots for 2004. German teenager Sven Jaschen, who reportedly confessed to writing the Netsky and Sasser worms, was responsible for more than 55 percent of all virus reports for 2004.
|Top Ten Viruses Reported |
to Sophos in 2004
|Source: Sophos Plc.|
Leading Viruses in November
In November, Jaschen’s Worm/Netsky.P virus, eight months after its discovery, was the most widespread, accounting for 26.3 percent of all attacks. Second on the list, was the Worm/Sober.I virus, which although discovered on November 19, accounted for 17.5 percent of virus attacks for the month, according to Central Command.
"Arguably the only major virus outbreak of the fall season, Worm/Sober.I had an immediate impact," said Steven Sundermermeier, vice president of products and services at Central Command.
|November 2004 Dirty Dozen|
|Note: The table above represents the most prevalent |
viruses for November 2004, number one being the
|Source: Central Command Inc.|
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