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Spam rises 39% in September

September’s spam and virus statistics from SoftScan

London, UK (2nd October 2007) – SoftScan announced today that spam levels rose by 39% during September. The total amount of email stopped as spam by SoftScan was 93.51%, with levels near or over 98% being reached on some days. In addition, although virus levels remain relatively low, SoftScan noted a change in malware activity with a new virus attack each day.

“Since June this year we have seen an increase of 95% in the amount of spam we stop each month,” comments Diego d’Ambra, CTO of SoftScan. “We are fortunate that the reputation filter we introduced last year, which effectively hangs up the phone to servers sending spam, catches the vast majority of junk mail before it reaches our spam filters, preventing them from becoming overloaded. But for organisations that are just relying on spam filters alone, these past few months must have been a nightmare for network administrators.”

With the exception of a few days at the beginning of September when spam levels dropped to around 88%, the remainder of the month has been consistently very high. SoftScan predicted in August that spam levels to rise by 40% in next month and stated that one of the groups it believed spammers would be targeting was the large number of students returning to educational institutions after the summer break, whose surfing habits make them an ideal target for malware writers.

Viruses accounted for just 0.14% of email traffic during the last month. The top five virus families in September 07 were:

1 – phishing: 71.19%
2 – freegame: 7.04%
3 – downloader: 4.41%
4 – foolball: 3.74%
5 – netsky: 2.85%

Notes to editors:

SoftScan Reputation Filter

When an email is accepted by SoftScan's servers, the Reputation Filter performs an assessment of the sender. It looks-up the IP address in a number of internal and external databases that collect data about the senders of spam and viruses. SoftScan constantly monitors and rates the quality of the external databases to ensure that it only blocks emails from "black-listed" senders. When an email is rejected by the Reputation Filter the sender immediately receives a status email explaining the reason for the rejection.


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 1 million 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.

PR Contact:

Sara Claridge
Marylebone Media Relations
+44 870 766 8482 (direct)
+44 7968 626838 (mobile)