Especially on Thursday: more stats on the staggering scale of spam

Especially on Thursday: more stats on the staggering scale of spam

BBC Online story.

“A survey by the counter-spam firm Brightmail detected more than four million pieces of junk mail on just this day sent to UK internet users.

The volume of unsolicited mail has shot up in the last year, making up nearly half of all net traffic, according to some estimates.

An insight into the staggering scale of the spam problem was provided by Microsoft, which said this week that it now blocks 2.4 billion junk messages to its MSN and Hotmail subscribers every day.

‘Astonishing’ figure

Brightmail monitored mails sent for a week in March over the UK net provider, BT Openworld.

It found that nearly 11 million out of 25 million messages were scanned were spam – a weekly average of 41%.

A large chunk of the junk mail, more than four million, was sent on the Thursday.

“The problem with spam is well documented, but to get close to the 50% mark is astonishing and that figure can only increase,” said Duncan Ingram, Managing Director at BT Openworld.

The deluge of spam is prompting online services like BT Openworld to take action to stem the flow of unwanted offers for miracle cures, get-rich-quick schemes and adult products.

The company offers an e-mail protection service to its customers for 1 a month.

Legal steps

In the US, internet giants AOL, Yahoo and Microsoft have all been touting their anti-spam features.

AOL recently said it blocked about two billion junk messages in a single day, while last week Microsoft revealed its anti-spam measures now net about 2.4 billion spam e-mails sent to its Hotmail and MSN customers.

Some firms are taking to the courts to stop the spammers.

Earlier this week, US net provider Earthlink won $16.4m (10.3m) damages and a permanent injunction against someone who sent 850 million unsolicited e-mails via its service.

Law suits brought by Microsoft and AOL against suspected spammers are still making their way through the courts. ”