Only one in 28 e-mail messages legit

The spring tide of spam e-mail rose alarmingly this year, according to security firm Sophos. The company says that between April and June, 96.5 per cent of all business e-mail was spam, up from 92.3 per cent in the first three months of 2008. That means only one in 28 e-mail messages sent was legitimate.

The company revealed the results of its latest quarterly report on spam trends on July 15.

According to Sophos, the U.S., Russia and Turkey, respectively, are the top three countries for relaying spam. China and Brazil round out the top five. Canada did not make the list of 12 countries, the so-called Dirty Dozen.

Spam is spreading through another avenues, too, according to Sophos. Spammers are increasingly using social networking sites, including Facebook, BeBo and LinkedIn to spread links to bogus sites, though e-mail spam dwarfs this technique in comparison.

SMS attacks by cell phone are also increasing, according to Sophos, and “spear-phishing” — phishing attacks customized for a particular domain or organization — is also on the rise.

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