Spam volumes grew slightly in February

The most recent e-mail report from security vendor Postini shows the amount of spam on the Internet increased slightly in February.

The report, released Monday, was generated from the more than 22 billion e-mail messages scanned last month as part of Postini's hosted messaging security service. Once the company filtered out directory harvest attacks, malicious attacks, and e-mails sent to invalid recipients, spam messages totaled slightly more than 4 billion, or 73 percent of all mail that was scanned for spam, say officials. That's up 2 percent from January, they say.

February 18 was the worst day of the month for spam, officials add, totaling 150 million messages or 82 percent of scanned e-mail. This was due to a rise in tax-preparation offers as April 15 nears, they say.

In its 2005 year-end report, Postini said the amount of spam had stayed roughly constant at between 75 percent and 80 percent of all scanned messages throughout the year.

There were 2.9 million phishing messages in February, 65 percent lower than those in January, which officials describe as a very volatile month.

Virus-laden messages accounted for 1.5 percent of legitimate e-mail, they said, a level the company considers normal.

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