Unless you live in a cave you will know that spam email is a seriously large problem. What you may not realise though is just how big that problem is.
According to Symantec some 90.4% of all email received by corporate networks last month was unsolicited. That is an astonishing figure!
I’ve never really considered how much spam I receive as a proportion of all the emails which arrive in my inbox, especially as I successfully filter out almost all of it, but the actual figure would probably be in that range I would imagine.
Spam is annoying to most people (but not all) but the sheer volume that is sent tells a tale – it must work!
Symantec’s findings represent an increase of 5.1% over last month but such a high level of spam is hardly new. The level of spam versus genuine email has been at similar levels for many years now and isn’t likely to drop any time soon.
Perhaps the largest change in recent times is the volume of spam that is now generated via botnets which are a network of hacked computers that can also be used for other nefarious purposes besides sending unsolicited mail. Spammers can hire botnets on the black market and can then use them to send thousands of spam emails every day.
Another area of growth for spam is in social networking. Social engineering and other phishing scams are used to steal accounts on popular sites such as Twitter and Facebook and then those accounts are used to spam everyone who is connected to them. For instance, there was an incident recently in which hacked Twitter accounts were used to send out fake tweets which promoted a free trial of an acai berry dietary supplement.
Such a spamming technique can prove effective as recipients are much more likely to read a message which appears to have come from a friend or otherwise known contact.