Computer Crime Research Center


40 Trillion Spam E-mails This Year

Date: October 10, 2008

Ferris Research, the mail and messaging specific research group, made plenty of noise not long ago when they said there will be 40 trillion (with a T) spam messages sent this year. They can predict fairly accurately, since 30 trillion spams went out last year.

ComputerWorld did a nice story called Spam Filters: Making Them Work relying on the Ferris numbers. However, the lesson we should learn is buried deeper in the details: spam is no longer a nuisance that clogs inboxes, it's a security issue. The majority of spam messages now try to breach security on the computer reading the message, or redirect the user to a Web site full of malware etc.

Letting users handle spam on their own won't work, because users don't often think critically before clicking embedded links. In fact, you may have a chore just explaining embedded links to some coworkers. And those pictures of cute little kittens can load a system full of botnets just as easily as the spam messages full of porn links.

Stop spam as far away as possible to reduce the load on your e-mail server. Search for “spam filtering service” and you'll get more than a million (really) results. A few dollars per month per user costs far less than one security breach. Actually, a few dollars per user per month costs less than many of the on premise spam control products, especially for small companies with 25 or fewer users.
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