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BizReport : Email Marketing : June 30, 2009

MessageLabs: Spam flies past 90%

When it comes to email marketing, it may seem that the spammers and botnets are winning. According to the latest research from Symantec's MessageLabs, spam levels surpassed the 90% rate in April and May, with most of the spam coming from botnets.

by Kristina Knight

According to the report at least 80% of spam is a product of botnets; this despite the face that one of the biggest rogue ISPs, Pricewert (McColo) was recently shut down. Botnets are now sending spam directly but are also controlling the sending of spam through webmail accounts.

The biggest perpetrators are Cutwail, a botnet responsible for 45% of spam. Grum (10% of spam) and Rustock (10% of spam) are also big spam machines, as is Mega-D, accounting for just under 10% of spam. Also high on the botnet list are Xarvester (0.2% of spam) and Donbot (3.2% of spam).

Phishing continues to be a big problem for legitimate email marketers as well because many consumers will delete legitimate emails, fearing they are really phishing attacks. The report indicates that one in every 280 emails is a phishing attack, an increase of 6.4% for the reporting period. Most phishing attacks are still focused on the financial/banking industry as thieves try to steal private information from unaware consumers. Phishers are also now taking over unused legitimate domain names to 'fool' consumers into giving their private information out.

Tags: botnets, email marketing, MessageLabs, phishing, spam, spam filter, spam threats, Symantec

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