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Less Evil, Still Annoying: 92% of Emails are Spam

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 53 comments
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The good news is spam is a little bit less malicious than it used to be. The bad news is there's more of it than there was last year.

For regular internet users, email spam is not an uncommon occurrence. Some of it is fairly harmless, and some of it contains malicious links or attachments, but it's safe to say that all spam is annoying. But did you know that these annoying, junky messages account for all but 8 percent of emails?

A recent report by security firm Symantec claims that as of July 2010, 92 percent of all email is spam. Symantec's spam and phishing trends study recorded a 3 percent rise in spam, up from 89 percent, compared to last year's statistics.

It's not all bad news, though. The good news is that aside from being irritating, spam is slowly becoming less malicious. InformationWeek cites Symantec's study in reporting that spam containing phishing attempts has declined by 5 percent from June to July of 2010. Further, the number of unique spam sites is declining. Symantec says the number of unique phishing websites -- created by automatic attack toolkits -- decreased by 60 percent from June to July. However, unique URLs used in phishing scams increased by 10 percent, and non-English phishing sites have grown by 15 percent from June to July.

Finally, Symantec's report showed the trending topics for spammers and scammers this year. While last year's leading topics were Barack Obama and Michael Jackson, some of this year's more prevalent spam headlines have been the World Cup and the BP oil spill.

How much spam do you get on a daily basis? Let us know in the comments below!

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Top Comments
  • 22 Hide
    _Cubase_ , August 14, 2010 9:52 AM
    If I had said yes to all of the spam emails I have gotten, I would be $20mil richer, own about 3 countries, 50 iPods, and have a penis stemming from here to Massachusetts!
  • 19 Hide
    Marco925 , August 14, 2010 4:34 AM
    usually get half-baked World of warcraft phishing scams.

    Come on... I know that blizzard didn't purchase wow-blizzardbattle-passwordchange.net
  • 16 Hide
    JMcEntegart , August 14, 2010 8:08 AM
    JOSHSKORNStill thinking about investing with that Bank of Nigeria.


    I can hook you up with a friend of mine who got in touch a while back. He has several squillion dollars tied up in holding because his family was wiped out in one fell swoop. He just needs €5,000 to free up his funds and then he's going to split it with me. Wanna go halfsies? Surely it's much more reliable than investing.

Other Comments
    Display all 53 comments.
  • 19 Hide
    Marco925 , August 14, 2010 4:34 AM
    usually get half-baked World of warcraft phishing scams.

    Come on... I know that blizzard didn't purchase wow-blizzardbattle-passwordchange.net
  • 6 Hide
    visa , August 14, 2010 4:41 AM
    For those of you business owners out there, you can thank the spammers for the costs of implementing and maintaining a secure email system. Helps keep your IT providers in business at least :-/
  • 6 Hide
    Trialsking , August 14, 2010 4:45 AM
    92%, that definitely and A- for effort! Way to go spammers. You will make the Harvard Dean's list in no time@
  • 12 Hide
    filoz , August 14, 2010 6:03 AM
    "Congratulations, you have won a free MacBook Pro from Facebook!
    Sent by: noreply@milliyet.com.tr"

    Yeah, sure.
  • 2 Hide
    maigo , August 14, 2010 6:05 AM
    Quote:
    The good news is spam is a little bit less malicious than it used to be.

    Tell that too all the facebook and battle.net fakes I've gotten in the past 2 months
  • 3 Hide
    hikayu , August 14, 2010 6:07 AM
    i guess that's one way to create job in this economy , right ?
  • 15 Hide
    JOSHSKORN , August 14, 2010 7:42 AM
    Still thinking about investing with that Bank of Nigeria. I'm kidding.
  • 16 Hide
    JMcEntegart , August 14, 2010 8:08 AM
    JOSHSKORNStill thinking about investing with that Bank of Nigeria.


    I can hook you up with a friend of mine who got in touch a while back. He has several squillion dollars tied up in holding because his family was wiped out in one fell swoop. He just needs €5,000 to free up his funds and then he's going to split it with me. Wanna go halfsies? Surely it's much more reliable than investing.

  • 11 Hide
    braneman , August 14, 2010 8:16 AM
    from how many emails I get about erectile disfunction, the entire country must be undergoing an epidemic, or overflow of placebos.
  • 22 Hide
    _Cubase_ , August 14, 2010 9:52 AM
    If I had said yes to all of the spam emails I have gotten, I would be $20mil richer, own about 3 countries, 50 iPods, and have a penis stemming from here to Massachusetts!
  • 2 Hide
    velocityg4 , August 14, 2010 11:00 AM
    Perhaps spam could be reduced if countries agreed that a spammer whom is caught is to be publicly hanged, drawn and quartered. Then the parts are to be gibbeted.
  • 0 Hide
    bearracuda , August 14, 2010 11:03 AM
    My daily average is 8. I have 6 and counting for today, though. Should be an interesting day. Love gmail for keeping me from ever seeing any of these unless I want to.
  • 4 Hide
    JackFrost860 , August 14, 2010 12:17 PM
    Is it really so hard to legislate against it?
  • 4 Hide
    cookoy , August 14, 2010 12:21 PM
    The food company SPAM must really enjoy all these free publicity news.
    If only 92% of consumers eat SPAM!
  • 5 Hide
    mlopinto2k1 , August 14, 2010 1:39 PM
    With all these numbers floating around, does anyone realize how much bandwidth is being used every second to send this sh!t? How much power is being used to virus scan each message? I could probably put money on it that the next time you visit Tom's Hardware and it takes more than 10 seconds to load, SPAM caused the delay.
  • 2 Hide
    tainted_peak , August 14, 2010 2:21 PM
    A friend of mine gets around 250 spam messages a day, only because she hands her email out to anyone who asks ie stores, forums, the like. I on the other hand get 2 every month out of 300+ emails. Its just common sense don't hand it out and you'll be fine.
  • 2 Hide
    fayzaan , August 14, 2010 2:21 PM
    kill the spam!!
  • 1 Hide
    hoof_hearted , August 14, 2010 2:26 PM
    Tax email
  • 0 Hide
    ravewulf , August 14, 2010 4:02 PM
    I don't usually get any in my main email accounts. Maybe one spam email per month max. My Gmail junk account on the other hand goes through spike periods of 10-20 spam emails a week and then nothing (or next to nothing) for a few weeks.
  • 5 Hide
    bourgeoisdude , August 14, 2010 4:15 PM
    hoof_heartedTax email


    As bad as this sounds, this should, in theory, actually solve the problem. Obviously though, this is not likely to happen and I certainly wouldn't want to pay taxes on email.

    Another problem with this approach--or any legislative or legal approach--is that with approximately 238 geopolitical entities in the world the chances of all of them agreeing on this is zero. Spammers will just camp in the country or countries that don't care or don't enforce it.
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