World spam volume at 81.5%

July 18, 2008 // 9:52 a.m.

Tags: #can-spam #email #e-mail #messagelabs #spam #ube #uce #volume #world

If you thought the quantity of junk e-mail you received was impressive, spare a thought for your ISPs servers: over 80 percent of what they see is pure spam.

According to a report published by MessageLabs – who, it must be said, have something of a vested interest in the whole spam issue – and quoted by Ars Technica, 81.5 percent of all e-mail traffic for the month of June was unsolicited bulk e-mail, or spam. Those figures are based on the three billion e-mail connections that the company analyses each day for customers of its anti-spam services, and represent a world-wide total. Within the US the total volume of spam sits at a higher 86 percent, with the worst state being Illinois with a whopping 91 percent.

MessageLabs Senior Anti-Spam Technologist – now there's a business card to be proud of – Matt Sergeant says as part of the report that “not only are spam levels increasing, we are also seeing several new and different types of spam. Spam has become mailed out in smaller, more targeted batches and spammers are using varying approaches from leveraging celebrity names and current events to grab attention to exploiting mainstream hosted services like Microsoft Skydrive and Google Docs to evade spam filters. Spammers are relentless in their tactics for exploiting computer users.

The figures demonstrate that the famous CAN-SPAM Act enacted back in 2003 has done nothing to stem the flow of undesired e-mails for the US, something anti-spam campaigners are unsurprised about. With the Act not requiring advance permission before a company sends out an unsolicited commercial e-mail to an individual, and with very little spent on enforcement of the Act, it's clear that something drastic needs to happen before e-mail becomes unusable as a communications medium.

How do you deal with the ever-increasing flow of unsolicited bulk e-mail – and have you ever complained to a spammer's ISP to get them to stop? Share your thoughts over in the forums.

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