Spam, Spam, Lovely Spam

While the Monty Python “spam” skit may have been funny in its day, spam is no longer a laughing matter.  One source estimates 55 billion spam messages are sent per day worldwide, representing a 40% increase since April.  According to anti-spam organization Spamhaus, “80% of spam received by Internet users in North America and Europe can be a hard-core group of around 200 known spam operations.”  It is literally these people’s business to send you spam.  Increasingly, e-mail is also used for more malicious purposes such as phishing.

Some spam organizations use pests or viruses to create a "zombie network" of computers they can use to deliver millions of spam messages. Often it is even easier for them to take control over an existing network than to create their own (see our article Organized Crime Taking Over the Internet?).

Criminal groups often use a technique known as phishing, which entails sending messages designed to trick users into giving up their personal (or company!) information for bank accounts, credit cards, passwords, and so on. For example, a message might appear to come from a bank and direct you to call a phone number where an automated attendent asks your to enter your credit card number.

Anti-spam services are a must for today's spam-heavy environment.

August 2006

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