Analysts warn of spam explosion

Spam levels are set to increase dramatically according to figures released by Messagelabs which showed such communications...

Spam levels are set to increase dramatically according to figures released by Messagelabs which showed such communications accounted for one in eight e-mails in November.

Analysts urged IT departments to educate users. The managed e-mail service provider believes UK levels will mirror increases in the US where spam incidence has risen from one in 37 in January to one in three in the past month.

In the UK spam e-mails identified by the company rose from one in 199 in January to one in eight this month.

Messagelabs chief technology officer, Mark Sunner, said, "Spam has the ability to severely compromise UK business productivity and these new statistics bear that out. Research commissioned earlier this year by Messagelabs revealed that 10% of the working day is spent dealing with spam."

Security consultant Gunter Ollman of ISS said user education was the primary means of tackling spam.

"It is important to educate users about when to use corporate e-mail addresses. Mailing groups and news alerts can be harvested for e-mail addresses by spammers. E-card Web sites are sometimes specifically set up to gather them," said Ollman.

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