MessageLabs: Spam levels continue to rise

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For the fifth consecutive month, spam levels have continued to soar, with more than three-quarters of all messages sent in February being junk.

New research shows that 77.8 per cent of all emails sent last month were spam. This rise can be attributed to the surge of messages sent around Valentine’s Day, according to the latest MessageLabs report.

February also saw a hike in seasonal hijacking threats including the “For My Valentine” malware with attachments such as “Greetings Card.exe”, the security vendor said.

“While it is routine to see the bad guys use seasonal tactics to exploit unsuspecting targets, the recent rise in Valentine’s Day specific malware proves it is still effective,” said Mark Sunner, chief security analyst, MessageLabs.

“Although it is commendable that global law enforcement agencies are attempting to address the spam and botnet issue, we are likely to see the spammers continuing to innovate both in terms of targeting and new techniques.”

The study also found that new forms of malware are escalating, with 43.9 per cent of all malicious software intercepted in February being new strains.
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