Anti-spam filtering giant Brightmail says figures released yesterday suggesting spam claiming to be from New Zealand was on the rise are a result of increased virus activity, particularly the Netsky virus.
As Computerworld reported yesterday, Brightmail figures for the region puts New Zealand in third place, with 14% of the region's spam production claiming to come from New Zealand. Typically New Zealand-based spam would account for only 1% or 2%.
However Brightmail's vice president for Asia Pacific Garry Sexton says he has looked at the figures and they are more about Netsky than any spammer setting up in New Zealand.
"We define spam as bulk unsolicited email and these viruses generate bucket loads of email that we tag as unsolicited."
Sexton says Netsky in particular was very virulent and because of its email address spoofing, New Zealand results in particular seems to have been affected by the virus.
"Really it's just more evidence, if we needed more, that users need to have a 'belt and braces' approach to viruses and spam."
Sexton recommends using an ISP that offers filtering services at the server end as well as keeping anti-virus and ant-spam filters up to date on the user's own machines.
Sexton believes the New Zealand figures should return to a more usual level next month.