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Australia among spam 'hot spots' as global levels rocket

  • 26 May, 2004 11:07

<p>London, Sydney, New York, Hong Kong, Munich, Brussels, May 25 2004. Global spam levels continued to rocket over the past month according to MessageLabs, the leading provider of managed email security services to businesses worldwide, with more than two-thirds of the 840 million emails scanned for its 8,500 customers intercepted as spam.</p>
<p>The figures also indicate significant regional variations and spam ‘hot spots,’ despite attempts to deter spammers through legislation.</p>
<p>Currently, email traffic sent to the United States, Australia, United Kingdom, Germany, and Hong Kong represents more than 98% of the global spam volumes being filtered by MessageLabs. The USA was the worst hit, with 83% of total traffic identified as spam. This fell to 52% in the UK, 41% in Germany, 32% in Australia and 41% in Singapore, while in Hong Kong spam represented 27% of total email volume.</p>
<p>The regional figures follow a trend across predominantly English-speaking countries, where the proliferation of Internet/email usage – both corporate and home use – is at its highest, alongside the widespread adoption of high-speed Internet connection technologies, such as broadband. Research from Datamonitor predicted that more than 41 million European households will be accessing the Internet via high-speed broadband connections by 2006 (compared with just over 10 million in 2002), while a recent report from eMarketer and The Wall Street Journal indicated that around 43 million Americans users already have broadband access.</p>
<p>Moreover, attitudes about Internet and email usage are generally are more relaxed in more developed countries, where there is a far greater prevalence of activities such as online shopping, web chat and instant messaging.</p>
<p>Mark Sunner, Chief Technology Officer at MessageLabs, explains: “As the proportion of spam in corporate and home inboxes continues to grow exponentially, there’s a direct correlation to regional demographic trends. The USA presents the widest market for spammers in terms of Internet access and adoption of email as a communications tool. While currently it has the worst global figure at 83%, it’s only a matter of time until the UK falls victim to similar volumes in around six-months time, whilst Asia-Pacific countries will likely see the same impact in 12 months time. When it comes to the Internet, when the US sneezes, the rest of us catch a cold.</p>
<p>“Countries where English is a widely used language, particularly in electronic communication, will always be a natural target for spammers as mass mailing in one common language is by far the easiest way for them to disperse their messages. So it is no coincidence that the majority of spam also originates from English speaking countries. These latest figures show spam is becoming a bigger problem worldwide, and unfortunately shows that current legislation is having little impact in curbing the upward trend.”</p>
<p>MessageLabs intercepts spam bound for customers’ inboxes using its unique and patented Skeptic™ predictive heuristics technology. Through MessageLabs Intelligence, the company provides continuous and regularly updated information, statistics and analysis on a range of email security threats worldwide. MessageLabs Intelligence is based on live data feeds pulled from its global network of control towers that scan millions of emails daily.</p>
<p>- ends –</p>
<p>Australian Media Contacts:</p>
<p>David Banes, MessageLabs Sydney
Phone: (02) 9409 4307 or 0411-747 821
Nick Hawkins, MessageLabs Asia Pacific
Phone: (852) 2111 3655 or 0405 774 802
David Frost, PR Deadlines Pty Ltd
Phone (02) 4341 5021 or 0408-408 210
<p>About MessageLabs
MessageLabs is the leading provider of managed email security services to businesses worldwide. The company currently protects more than 8,500 global businesses from email threats such as viruses, spam and other unwanted content before they reach their networks and without requiring additional hardware or software. Powered by a global network of control towers that currently spans the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, the Netherlands and Hong Kong, MessageLabs scans 45 million emails a day on behalf of customers such as QBE Insurance, Daiwa, Voyages Hotels and Resorts, Mandarin Oriental Hotels, Sanitarium, SunWater, The British Government, Fujitsu, The Bank of New York, Conde Nast Publications, StorageTek, EMI Music and Diageo. For more information on MessageLabs and its industry-leading email security and management services, please visit:</p>

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