Malware volumes hold steady

Global rates of spam, viruses and phishing e-mails stagnated in the last month, managed e-mail provider MessageLabs has reported.

Month-on-month, levels for all three mostly stayed where they had been in the previous month. Spam rates actually decreased slightly from January, falling from 66.6 percent to 60.6 percent, while viruses fell from one in 41.7 e-mails to one in 44.1, or 2.3 percent of traffic. Only phishing saw any increase but this was modest, rising from one in 395 to one in 335.

The company predicts that spam might rise in the short term, although this is after a marked and consistent decline since a peak in July 2004, when the company said an astonishing 94.5 percent of its e-mail traffic was made up of spam.

Phishing and viruses are harder to call, and tend to fluctuate from month to month based on a range of variables such as the emergence of vulnerabilities.

One surprising statistic was that nine out of ten e-mails within India are now spam, as compared with 76.7 percent in Hong Kong, 70 percent in Israel, and 64 percent in the U.S. Japan had the lowest spam rate of any country measured, at 23.5 percent.

The United Arab Emirates now has the highest rate of viruses relative to its traffic, standing at one in 13.9 e-mails. In that category, India is actually the lowest, with only one in 63.7.

Do reports such as this tell us anything useful? The Anti-Phishing Working Group's (APWG) latest analysis of phishing levels for December showed that while the number of such e-mails has decreased, the number of sites attempting the fraud had actually increased.

This might support the hypothesis that while certain kinds of malware are decreasing in volume, this is because they are now being more carefully targeted. The same could be true for spam and viruses as well, but only future months will reveal whether this is the case, or that the generally lower volumes are here to stay.

Join the newsletter!


Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

John E. Dunn
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill


I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?