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Monday, November 27, 2006

Stuffing Our in Bins - Breathing Space Blog

All that spam you’re getting? You are not alone. A Reuters report out of London says that “criminal gangs using hijacked computers are behind a surge in unwanted e-mails peddling sex, drugs and stock tips.”

According to Postini, a U.S. email security company spam messages have tripled since June and now account for nearly 90% of the e-mails sent worldwide. "E-mail systems are overloaded or melting down trying to keep up with all the spam," said Dan Druker, a vice president at Postini.

The Reuters report observes that “as Christmas approaches, the daily trawl through in-boxes clogged with offers of fake Viagra, loans and sex aids is tipped to take even longer.” Postini has detected a staggering 7 billion spam e-mails worldwide in November compared to 2.5 billion in June.

According to Spamhaus, an agency that tracks the problem, “About 200 illegal gangs are behind 80 percent of unwanted e-mails.

Reuters: Experts blame the rise in spam on computer programs that hijack millions of home computers to send e-mails. These "zombie networks", also called "botnets", can link 100,000 home computers without their owners' knowledge. They are leased to gangs who use their huge "free" computing power to send millions of e-mails with relative anonymity.

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