Report: Spamming Soared in 2006

By Brian Prince  |  Posted 12-27-2006
A report on spam by e-mail security firm Commtouch Software dubs 2006 the "Year of the Zombies."

The study found that "zombies," the name given computers remote-controlled by hackers, can number up to 8 million hosts globally on a given day. As a result, spam volume increased by 30 percent in 2006, according to the report.

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"Spam outbreaks got bigger, faster and smarter during 2006," Amir Lev, president and chief technical officer for Commtouch, based in Netanya, Israel, said in a statement. "Innovative spammers quickly developed new techniques to bypass common anti-spam technologies and amassed huge zombie botnets. Outbreaks have become so fast, massive and sophisticated that most anti-spam solutions had great difficulty defending against them."

Zombie activity, the report found, accounts for 85 percent of the spam circulating the Internet. Multiwave image-spam outbreaks brought spam bloat to 1.7 billion MB per day. eBay and PayPal remain top targets for fraud, their names being used in 50 percent of all phishing attempts, the report said.

Natalie Lambert, an analyst at Forrester Research, said she was unsurprised by the report's findings regarding the prevalence of spam. She added that spamming typically spikes during the holiday when more e-mails are being sent out by businesses.

Read the full story on eWeek: Report: Spamming Soared in 2006