New VB Spam Supplement

Posted by   Virus Bulletin on   Nov 1, 2003

VB plans to present a selection of news and articles on spam and anti-spam techniques - some technical, some ethical, some relating to real-world experiences of dealing with spam.

Over the last 12 months VB has taken a couple of fleeting glances into the anti-spam arena and has decided that now the time has come to look into the issue in more depth.

Spam is a subject that is of growing concern to the large proportion of the population who use email as a form of communication, and has proved to be of increasing interest to the AV industry: over the last year we have seen a veritable stampede of AV vendors rushing to bring anti-spam solutions to market alongside their anti-virus products.

With volumes of unsolicited email growing almost by the day, there is great interest in the ways in which users are affected by it. As a consequence, a rash of reports, surveys and questionnaires has appeared across the Internet. The results of these surveys suggest that spam is beginning to affect the way in which people use the Internet: 25 per cent of email users surveyed by Pew Internet said that their overall use of email had declined as a result of the increasing volume of spam. Of some concern was the fact that one survey (carried out by DoubleClick and AOL) reported that unsubscribing was one of the most common actions taken by respondents to limit spam - evidently the message has yet to filter through to home users that replying to or clicking on any links within unsolicited email will lead to an increase, not a decrease in spam.

More pertinent to VB readers are the results of a survey of IT decision makers carried out by Trend Micro and TechRepublic. More than 50 per cent of respondents estimated that their organisations had experienced a 25?100 per cent increase in the volume of spam received over the past three months and approximately one third of respondents believed that viruses originate in the spam received by their organisations.

So spam is a hot topic, and deservedly so - as we hear from Martin Lee (see VB spam supplement November 2003, p.S2), MessageLabs statistics indicate that the ratio of spam to non-spam messages exceeded the 50% mark earlier this year. VB plans to present a selection of news and articles on spam and anti-spam techniques - some technical, some ethical, some relating to real-world experiences of dealing with spam, and as time progresses we hope to look in depth at some of the anti-spam products on the market. As always, VB welcomes your comments, questions, suggestions and contributions - please email editor@virusbtn.com.

Posted on 01 November 2003 by Virus Bulletin

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