Spam surge raises fears of junk mail assault

Spam surge raises fears of junk mail assault

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Graeme Wearden
November 11, 2003, 14:20 GMT

Organised spammers may have launched a new assault on Web users, with an anti-spam company reporting a spike in the amount of junk mail being sent

An email security firm has warned that spammers may be increasing their assault on Web users, after detecting a rise in the amount of unsolicited junk messages sent across the Internet.

FrontBridge, which provides outsourced email filtering services for companies, said this week that it detected a 15 percent increase in spam between the 14th and 18th October -- which it believes is a sign that organised spammers are ratcheting up their activities.

"Users who until this point had remained spam-free are now reporting multiple messages per day," said Craig Whitney, FrontBridge's European director. "This latest jump in the volume of spam being generated just adds to the load that enterprises have to manage every day," Whitney added.

This mid-October surge in spam activity could mean that some of the most determined and active spammers have added many more email addresses to the lists that they use when sending their unsolicited emails.

Other experts, though, believe that the anti-spam industry should be able to combat the threat.

"We often see spikes in the spam load that last a few days. This may be attributed to one such spike," Matt Sergeant, senior anti-spam technologist at Messagelabs, told ZDNet UK. "Generally these do not last, as it is very difficult to sustain these kind of attack levels without getting noticed. The general trend for spam, though, is definitely on the up, with our latest figures showing that 50.5 percent of all email is now spam."

FrontBridge has also announced that it is targeting the European enterprise market by launching a Euro HQ in London. Through this, it hopes to persuade more companies to sign up for its managed email security services, which it claims can save a company ?71 per user per year.

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