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Halloween Notice: Spam Zombies Still Feasting On User Inboxes

Staff Writer
Published: 2004-10-29

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"Zombies are playing a larger role in spam attacks," said Andrew Lochart, director of product marketing at Postini. "Spam zombies are popping up all over the world, especially on the newer broadband networks.

For example, we've recently noticed a lot of activity in Paris that's coming from a cable TV operator there who recently started offering broadband access to their subscribers. It's eerie how fast the spammers set up shop on those home PCs."

During the month of October, Postini processed over 6.6 billion messages and prevented a total of almost 76 million virus instances from "creeping" into corporate networks, a decrease of 4.9 percent from last month. According to Postini, the top-ten scariest viruses of October were:

     Virus Name                     Quantity Detected

     netsky                           30,902,566
     mime                            13,772,552
     bagle                              9,887,187
     zafi                                 6,872,766
     bankfraud                       4,343,113
     zerolin                            3,095,974
     mydoom                         2,592,083
     lovgate                          1,552,761
     dumaru                             487,873
     klez                                   454,789

Postini also saw an increase in directory harvest attacks (DHAs), an attempt by spammers to hijack and steal an enterprises entire email directory and use it to send out junk email attacking corporate email servers. Postini fended off over 14 million DHAs and blocked over 4 billion invalid delivery attempts.

As part of its ongoing report that the spam war is changing from a content filtering battle to a real time SMTP connection management battle, Postini announced it received 14 billion SMTP requests, blocking over 50% of those requests based on the IP address of the sender. Of the 14 billion SMTP connections received, only 14 percent were legitimate email.

Postini also noted that spam continued to threaten email users this month, accounting for approximately 69% of all email processed by Postini in October. Such "ghastly" instances of netsky far and away led the attack of viruses, making it the top virus threat for the month of October with Postini blocking a total of 30,902,566 copies.

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