back to article Junk email volumes hit high

Nine in ten emails in circulation are spam, according to the latest stats from email security services outfit MessageLabs. The abuse of free hosted domains is playing a major role in clogging users' in-boxes with get-rich-quick scams and penis pill offers, MessageLabs reports. The security services arm of Symantec noted that …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.
Ed
Happy

Less...

I personally get much less spam than I used to, down from perhaps 5 a day to 1 or 2 per week over the last year or so. A few other people I've told this say similar things...

0
0
Alert

Currently 84% Here

Some bloke rang up the other day because I'd forwarded his crap to SpamCop and he was furious because he said that "info@" was fair game. Seems that cluesticks are going to be required for the foreseeable future.

0
0
Boffin

@Ed

Could that possibly be because your BOFH and/or ISP are getting better at blocking it?

0
0

I'm getting more

I've seen a massive increase lately. They all go in the Spam folder so it's still no biggy, but 90% junk sounds about right at the moment!

0
0
Anonymous Coward

@ Ed

That just means that your ISP/email provider other isps are getting better at filtering them (or the spammers are getting worse at not getting filtered). Just cause you don't see the forest doesn't mean someone else ain't cut it down!

0
0

Less too...

For me it dropped from 1000+ a day down to about 50-100 around the first/second week of May. I assumed that some of the bots had been turned off.

0
0
Unhappy

Same Here

I've had just one spam message in the last three weeks or so - down from 10-15 a day. I'm starting to feel like nobody loves me...

0
0
Alert

Shame on governments and the IT companies

Is anyone surprised that 90% of email is spam? In 5 more years it will probably 95%.

The US and UK Governments must work with the big IT players (Microsoft, Apple, Cisco, etc) to do something about this. Police and prosecutions are not the answer.

The SMTP protocol is seriously dated and inadequate. Devised 27 years ago the thought of spam or misuse back then was inconceivable. A new protocol must be created as a matter or urgency that has built-in authentication, signing, etc, or in addition a mechanism that costs the sender US$ 0.001 per recipient (0.1 cent). The cost will be negligible for personal use and most businesses, but prohibitive for bulk spammers.

0
0
Unhappy

Not surprised

I'm not surprised at spam reaching such volumes, I fixed a PC not long ago that had been compromised and was spewing 000's of mails an hour non-stop without the ISP taking any action.

I'd like to see more widespread adoption of Sender Policy Framework-like solutions, where any server receiving the mail can check if the sender is legitimately allowed to use the sender HELO/Return path and dumps any mail that fails.

This would a) block spam at the first non-compromised hop, b) easily identify compromised mailers/relays to be cleaned up/blacklisted, c) stop backscatter to spoofed domains (which is the bulk of my junk mail as a domain 'owner').

Sadly, many ISPs will continbue to do little about compromised users on their network, although I'm surprised that they haven't jumped on the micro-payments solution...seems like an idea they'd love.

0
0

Only 90%

Lucky them - we're current at 99.7% of all inbound messages to our company as spam, and another 0.5% being other neer-do well virus type traffic. Luckily its filtered 'in the cloud' so we don't have to churn through it here.

Also, my webmail account which generally has 650 messages in the spam box (Messages over 30 days automatically get ditched) is now showing nearly 1500. Based on the number of other messages I recieve there, Id say its about 96% spammage.

If only we couldn't divert all that processed meat to 3rd world countries - we could cure world hunger in one fell swoop.

0
0

@ Gary F

In the same way they stopped junk paper mail? Why should they?

0
0

Big increase here

..relatively. I've gone from 1-2 per week to about 5 per day. Thankfully most of it is on my hotmail account. My wife is getting 500+ per day! She's given up on email as a result.

0
0

Barely seen any increase

at least in our own networks, but that's because we use good, reputable DNSBLs (every bit I do get goes straight to SpamCop, and PhishTank if appropriate), and I aggressively block dynamic asdl networks in Turkey, Poland, Brasil, etc.

What must happen is that the ISPs block port 25 for domestic broadband customers, unless those customers pay for a static IP and can prove they are neither an open relay not a source of spam.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

well..

"Some bloke rang up the other day because I'd forwarded his crap to SpamCop and he was furious because he said that "info@" was fair game. Seems that cluesticks are going to be required for the foreseeable future."

AS long as its "info@validdomainthathasreversednstocheck.com", ie you can check it against where its meant to be come from to confirm the server, it is fair game, filtering based on the start of a email is stupid, if hat was his entire email address tho then hes an idiot

0
0
Unhappy

MessageLabs not so impressive

We have MessageLabs spam filtering and they seem to have taken their eye off the ball recently. I've started getting lots of viagra-type emails of late. Most are marked "white-listed" because the spammer has spoofed their from address to be mine. Seems like a pretty basic mistake to me.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Big increase here too ...

For 3 years I had almost no spam to my @ntlworld.com address. But on April 24th the dam burst and now I get 6 to 15 per day. I have no idea why it suddenly started on that day. But hey, it's not all bad; I now know what Acai is. See, spam can be educational!

0
0
Linux

Re: Big increase here too...

Probably one of the people that you emailed has just gotten a nasty infecion, and as a result, forwarded all his/her contact's e-mail addresses to a harvester.

It just happened to one of our providers a couple of years ago, so we had to implement anti-spam filtering.

Now in our linux e-mail server there is an spam checker, and in our desktops, anything with spam level more than 3 goes to a temporal folder ... anything more than 10 goes directly to trash.

And yes, is pretty anoying having to empty the trash folder every 2 days to remove 1000+ messages.

0
0
Unhappy

@Stephen Gray

Paper junk mail can be stopped via MPS (mailing preference service); anyone who ignores the MPS can be fined (and often are). Paper junk mail is mostly accountable (you know who sent it) and doesn't offer illegal, dangerous, offensive, or dubious products and services, nor letters pretending to be your bank, not to mention items in envelopes that can damage your computer or turn it into a zombie.

As an owner of several servers sitting "in the cloud" I'm disgusted by the amount of spam that's attempted to be delivered to our servers. I've rarely seen less than 30 open SMTP sessions in progress per server, 90% of unwanted traffic comes from the Far East and Russia so it seems. While I can block their actions it still consumes resource on my servers and costs my company money. So unlike any form of paper junk mail (which the Royal Mail and printing companies often profit from and doesn't cost anyone else a penny) electronic junk costs the IT industry plenty in terms of server resource, firewalls, anti-spam software, and most expensive of all, bandwidth.

0
0

Not only, but also....

A couple of weeks ago, we were subject to a mail bombing - over 100,000 in under 24 hours. And our mail provider is uh..... Message Labs.

Worse, even though we set things up to block the mail, it still kept returning - I finally lost my temper with them and eventually they did get it sorted. But we had received around 400k of the bloody things, and they had stuffed the firewall and the router for good measure.

Still, it's all died off now - till next time

0
0

Just keeps getting worse...

Across three personal domains and my Gmail, I'm getting a spam rate of... wait for it... 99.894%. SpamAssassin means that I'm seeing about 3-4 spam messages per day, out of ~100/day that it catches, and a daily total of ~120-130 messages.

Ugh.

Most of the stuff that gets through SA seems to be image spam, and what's annoying is that it's all stuff that a bit of rudimentary image processing will pick up on and eliminate. Maybe that's what my final-year project needs to be -- an anti-image-spam add-on for Procmail.

0
0
J
Coat

Big increase?

Apparently that's what the spam messages promise, judging by their subject lines.

@Only 90%

"Lucky them - we're current at 99.7% of all inbound messages to our company as spam, and another 0.5% being other neer-do well virus type traffic."

Hm, 99.7% and another 0.5%... You are getting way too many messages there, I'm afraid.

0
0
Thumb Down

A titles is required

97.26% spam blocked in the past 24 hours. 622 valid emails to 47 users.

0
0
Silver badge
Joke

Spam spam spam spam spam spam

egg spam spam spam and chips please!

0
0
Alert

Health Warning..

If you receive an email from the Department of Health telling you not to eat tinned pork because of swine flu - ignore it.

It's just spam.

0
0

Only 90% who are they kidding?

Set a catch-all address on a domain and there's a good chance you'll get a lot more than 90% junk, I've seen cases where not only do spammers send to every common forename @ but also to all 4 letter combinations @.

I think many of those never get spotted by the people who provide these low figures of only 90% because they get blocked before hitting spam filtering. Also the figures are probably distorted as they come from the likes of messagelabs whose users are a pre-selected bunch of relatively sophisticated users and big spenders, not the small businesses who've never even heard of messagelabs and use much less sophisticated spam filtering.

At one point I set the catch-all for a high visibility domain name to a gmail account - it ran out of space in a week (that was when Gmail could only store 1GB - about 250,000 messages if I recall...).

If that's a common experience I guess most of the internet "backbone" bandwidth is being used for spam. Everything would be faster and cheaper if spam could be killed.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

The Problem With Spam

is the idoits who are real hits... who actually do want the tat that is being sold. as a 0.01% hit rate makes all the rest justifiable...

I do not like spam. I will not buy from any company that emails me, at all regardless. As I do not wish to be in that 0.01% that are the hits that make spam for the rest of us.

I also refused to send emailshots for my employer on principle, (I still have my job and have not been asked again).

0
0
This topic is closed for new posts.

Forums