April Brings Spam And Virus Deluge - InformationWeek
03:18 PM
Connect Directly
Ransomware: Latest Developments & How to Defend Against Them
Nov 01, 2017
Ransomware is one of the fastest growing types of malware, and new breeds that escalate quickly ar ...Read More>>

April Brings Spam And Virus Deluge

E-mail security vendor FrontBridge Technologies reports spam and virus totals for the month of April peaked at 94% of total inbound E-mail and averaged 86%.

This year, April showers brought spam. E-mail security vendor FrontBridge Technologies Inc. today said spam and virus totals for the month of April peaked at 94% of total inbound E-mail and averaged 86%. The company also noted an increase in viruses carried by E-mail. It claims to have blocked 45 million instances of the Sober.S worm in a single day.

"We're seeing new types of erratic behavior that are leading us to believe that the profile of spam is changing," said Charles McColgan, chief technology officer for FrontBridge, in a statement. "Our research is starting to show new types of message strains that frequently change their content, limiting the effectiveness of more primitive filters. Our advanced content- and context-analysis techniques have stopped the bulk of these new types of threats."

While such reports from anti-spam companies should always be viewed with the level of skepticism accorded to an umbrella salesman predicting rain, the severity of the Sober.P worm outbreak that began Monday lends credence to FrontBridge's alarmism.

But E-mail users aren't a particularly skeptical lot, which is one of the reasons spam and malware continue to vex the Internet community. In an E-mail to the press, Steven Sundermeier, an analyst with anti-virus company Central Command, observed that virus writers still rely primarily on social engineering techniques, such as provocative subject lines, to dupe users into opening infected messages.

Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant for anti-virus company Sophos plc, noted in a recent post on the company's Web site that spammers had turned to humor to get recipients to look at their pitches. "Even though good anti-spam software will typically mark messages like this with a high spam score, some users may deliberately retrieve it and read it if they know a joke is contained inside," he said.

Though armed with steadily improving technology and stronger laws in the battle against malware, users continue to shoot themselves in the foot due to lack of education. As Sundermeier puts it, "Practicing safe computing is critical in the fight against computer viruses."

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
To learn more about what organizations are doing to tackle attacks and threats we surveyed a group of 300 IT and infosec professionals to find out what their biggest IT security challenges are and what they're doing to defend against today's threats. Download the report to see what they're saying.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
2017 State of IT Report
In today's technology-driven world, "innovation" has become a basic expectation. IT leaders are tasked with making technical magic, improving customer experience, and boosting the bottom line -- yet often without any increase to the IT budget. How are organizations striking the balance between new initiatives and cost control? Download our report to learn about the biggest challenges and how savvy IT executives are overcoming them.
Twitter Feed
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Flash Poll