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April spam and virus statistics from SoftScan

London, UK (2nd May 2007) – Even though the amount of viruses that SoftScan has stopped in the last thirty days has increased dramatically, generally overall there has been little change in spam and virus activity. Rather than an increase in virus activity, the rise in the percentage of traffic identified as malware is due to yet more email messages being identified as phishing, rather than spam. However, the change does indicate the increasing threat that phishing emails pose to end-users.

88.93% of all emails scanned by SoftScan during April were identified as spam, 1.92% were identified as viruses. In March, SoftScan identified just 0.6% of emails scanned as viruses, but the increase is due to a change in the way one of SoftScan’s anti-virus partners is now identifying phishing emails. A similar occurrence in the statistics appeared in August 2006.

“The fact that phishing emails are increasingly being identified by anti-virus companies as malware rather than spam, shows how the threat to end-users is increasing,” says Diego d’Ambra, CTO of SoftScan. “Eighteen months ago phishing emails were considered more of a nuisance than a large scale threat and typically most malware vendors just recognised them as spam. However, since then phishing has become far more sophisticated and their success rate at finding victims has also increased, making the threat overall far more prevalent.”

The top five virus families in April 07 were:

1 – phishing: 95.57%
2 – stration: 1.02%
3 – netsky: 0.96%
4 – dropper: 0.78%
5 – mytob: 0.44%

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About SoftScan

SoftScan provides a fully managed email security and archiving service that relieves organisations from the burden of using internal resources, whilst enabling full configurability to comply with company policy. SoftScan’s award-winning service protects over 900,000 users in more than 100 countries by combining three market leading virus scanners with its proven heuristic scanner, Paranoid, to deliver one of the most effective virus and spam filters in the world. Paranoid’s powerful, intelligent scanning capability enables it to stop viruses as yet undetected by conventional scanners, delivering zero-day protection.

www.softscan.co.uk

PR Contact:

Sara Claridge
Marylebone Media Relations
sara@marylebone.co.uk
+44 870 766 8482 (direct)
+44 7968 626838 (mobile)
www.marylebone.co.uk

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