Got Spam? Well It Just Hit a 2 Year High.

A new report just published by M86 Labs says malicious spam now accounts for about 25% of the total spam volume in the mail stream. So increasingly spam is not just a nuisance, it's becoming an threat with 1 out of 4 messages containing malicious badware designed to harm you.

Email Spam - and more specifically the kind with badware links and attachments - is exploding and has reached a new high. This latest trend includes a big spike last Autumn just before the SpamIt operation closed and ceased operation.

In fact, according to M86 Security Labs, spam traffic is about double what it was just a year ago. M86 monitors spam levels across various selected domains, so they have the data to back up their reporting.

"After multiple recent botnet takedowns, cybercriminal groups remain resilient clearly looking to build their botnets and distribute more fake AV in the process," the company says in its blog. "It seems spammers have returned from a holiday break and are enthusiastically back to work."

Obviously this is a bad thing and a growing threat to anyone who uses email as a primary communications channel (this includes you). And the new M86 report coincides with a report yesterday from Internet security company Commtouch, which says a most recent spike in email-attached malware has just ended, but that further waves are expected.

M86 says in its blog that most of the spam is generated by the Cutwail botnet, and malicious spam accounted for 13% of the mix over the past week. That's unusually high, but even that spiked to 24% yesterday.

The report found that much of the malicious spam was couched in phony correspondence from UPS, which concurs with Commtouch's findings that UPS spam was much of what Cutwail and Festi are sending.

And both reports agree that other bots are sending other forms of malicious attachments. The Asprox botnet, for example, is sending malicious hotel transaction spam with password-stealing and phony antivirus malware attached, M86 says.

Overall the top subjects of the spam were pharmaceuticals, gambling and dating, M86 says.

If your email system seems overloaded with spam, it may be time to switch to a service provider who invests in proactive spam defenses. Virtual Density uses multiple filter layers to keep malicious spam out of our customer's inbox. We do that even in our least expensive email plans. And in our premium Hosted SmarterMail service, we even subscribe to Commtouch's realtime spam outbreak monitoring service which does a great job of identifying and arresting the very latest threats.

If you need help understanding the nature of your particular spam problem, or if you just want to have us make the spam go away, contact a cloud services advisor at Virtual Density at 203-648-9906 and pick option 2 for immediate assistance. We promise to listen before we speak and then recommend a spam filtering or hosted email solution that's right for you.


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