Spam, spam, spam

According to the latest report (pdf format) from MessageLabs, 90.4% of all email is spam. The percentage is unchanged from last month. Other highlights from the report:

• Viruses – One in 269.4 emails in June contained malware (an increase of 0.06% since May)
• Phishing – One in 280.4 emails comprised a phishing attack (unchanged since May)
• Malicious websites – 1,919 new sites blocked per day (an increase of 67.0 % since May)
• 58.8% of all web-based malware intercepted was new in June, an increase of 24.6% since May
• The Cutwail Botnet bounces back
• 83.2% of all spam was sent via botnets in June
• Image spam continues, accounting for 8-10% of all spam in June
• Instant Messaging malware increases – 1 in 78 IM-based hyperlinks point to malicious websites

Tech Review reports that a team of researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology has come up with a potentially more efficient approach to identifying spam. The researchers analyzed 25 million e-mails and discovered several characteristics that could be gleaned from a single packet of data and used to efficiently identify junk mail. For example, legitimate email tends to come from computers that have a lot of ports open for communication, whereas bots tend to keep open only the SMTP port. They also found that geographical mapping of IP addresses helps. Spam, it turns out, tends to travel farther than legitimate email.