San Jose, California – (The Hosting News) – February 16, 2006 – Anti-spam and virus protection company, Commtouch, has announced spam and computer virus statistics for the month of January 2006.
The data is based on information continuously gathered by the Commtouch Detection Center, which analyzed more than 2 billion messages from over 130 countries during the month of January.
Amir Lev, President and CTO commented on the news, ”The number of massive attacks grew in January. In large part due to the speed of distribution, they succeeded in reaching many of their targets despite the presence of traditional anti-virus programs.”
The numbers are indeed concerning: 19 new email-born significant virus attacks, of which a troubling 8 (42%) were graded “low intensity”, 7 (37%) “Medium Intensity” and 4 (21%) were massive attacks – a rare phenomenon for a single month.
One outbreak of specific interest, consisting of 7 variants, illustrates how viruses are growing in sophistication: the first variant was launched around December 25th as a low intensity virus, however with subsequently released variants the attack’s intensity grew into a massive outbreak towards the end of the month.
The biggest virus attacks are the quickest, and fast-moving solutions are required. One of the factors measured by Commtouch is the speed of distribution. We consider attacks that peak within eight hours to have “short spans,” since it takes an average of 8-10 hours for a traditional anti-virus vendor to release an updated signature blocking a new virus.
Computer virus statistics from the Commtouch Detection Center indicate that 40% of attacks during January met this profile. Also, there is a clear connection between the attack’s speed and its intensity – the faster attacks are the biggest ones: while the average distribution time of low intensity attacks is a “leisurely” 27 hours and medium-intensity attacks can take 17 hours, massive attacks take as little as 5.5 hours to spread in hundreds of millions of emails.
Mr. Lev added, ”The conclusion is clear. Without a reliable solution for early hour protection that complements the old fashion anti-virus solutions, users are unprotected from the most massive attacks.”
The Commtouch Detection Center monitors spam distribution patterns on a global level. January spam statistics show that 43.18% of global spam is sent from US-based sources (down from approximately 50%). China is also a significant ‘launching pad’ for 12.89% of the spam. Korean and German sources distribute about 4% of global spam, and the rest of spam originates from around the globe.
While spammers make every effort to use diverse domains, in a sample of 256 million messages, we find that some domains are being used significantly more than others. Leading the list are hotmail.com (4.7 million), yahoo.com (4.2 million), msn.com (2.1 million), cisco.com (1.9 million) and gmail.com (1.5 million).
Find interactive charts, updated daily and available for downloading at: http://www.commtouch.com/Site/ResearchLab/statistics.asp
January 2006 — Major Spam Categories
Category % of spam Popular products / subjects
————— ——— ——————————————-
Pharmaceutical 52.46% Medical offering
Gifts 14.08% Rolex replicas
Enhancers & Diets 13.38% Show her how;
Finance 7.57% Refinance your home, Your loan is approved
Software 6.34% Windows XP Pro, Photoshop, MS-Office
Porn & dating 5.28% Nasty girls date site; Have sex with locals
Fraud 0.88% eBay Inc. — Urgent Security Notification
To learn more about Commtouch, please visit: www.commtouch.com.