Spammers ramp up for Easter

April 7, 2009 // 10:01 a.m.

Tags: #facebook #mccolo #phish #phishing #spam #spammers #spam-volume

Spam is on the rise in the run up to Easter, with figures showing that unsolicited bulk e-mails accounted for almost 85 percent of all e-mail traffic last month.

As reported over on vnunet.com, the latest figures released from security firm MXLogic show that spam is once again on the rise – and has hit the highest traffic percentage since notorious spamhouse McColo was shut down last year. In fact, March saw a massive 34 percent increase in overall spam volume over February – which led to the total percentage of spam-to-ham e-mail traffic hitting an impressive 84.8 percent for the month.

The most common type of spam to be seen by MXLogic's survey was unlicensed healthcare advertising – in other words, penis pills – with alleged discounts on consumer goods and fraudulent diplomas running close behind. Interestingly, the company claims in its report that spammers are moving to using geolocation strategies to ensure that adverts are localised according to the receiving e-mail system.

Phishing on social networking sites continues to be a problem, as does generic spam masquerading as legitimate e-mail from popular sites such as Facebook or Classmates.com.

Despite the sharp rise in spam volume month-on-month, MXLogic's figures show that the year-on-year picture is a fair bit healthier. While volumes are creeping back up from the low in November last year when McColo was closed down, they still have a long way to go before they match the impressive amount of spam that was shifted in March last year.

Have you noticed an increase in spam levels to your own e-mail addresses, or do you have pretty neat filter system to ensure that the hawkers are kept at bay? Share your thoughts over in the forums.

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