Graphic spam clogs communication channels

    On some days, the level of image spam jumps to 30% in the entire volume of spam traffic, according to Commtouch company. True, such “critical” days do not happen often. For example, on May 29, the level of graphic spam was 30%, and the total volume of spam traffic increased by 70%. Two weeks later, on June 10, the level of graphic spam was 22%, and the total volume of spam traffic increased by 50% compared to a normal day. On June 24, spam and traffic growth were 15% and 35%, respectively. All these figures make it clear that even a slight increase in the percentage of graphic spam has a very strong effect on the volume of spam traffic.

    Perhaps it is precisely the spread of graphic spam that is associated with the first increase in the level of spam in a long mail traffic, which was noticed by MessageLabs specialists in June 2006. In the first month of summer, the spam rate was 64.8% of mail traffic, which is 6.9 points more than in the previous month. On average for the II quarter. In 2006, the spam rate was 60.4%, which is 7.8 points lower than last year. The cause of the June surge may be just graphic spam.

    The problem is that the average size of a text spam message is 5.5 kilobytes, and the graphic size is 18 kilobytes, that is, more than three times as much. Therefore, graphic spam is becoming a headache for telecommunication and mail providers, as well as for companies that store an archive of their employees' mail messages on internal servers.

    In Russia, the situation is not so critical. “According to our estimates, the percentage of graphic spam is10-20 %. It’s hard to talk about growth, as spammers are constantly testing new technologies, ”said Alexander Kozlov, head of the Yandex development team from the anti-spam division, to Habrahabr. He also noted that now graphic spam does not cause serious problems.

    Graphic spam is a relatively new phenomenon that first appeared in the 3rd quarter. 2005. This type of mail message consists exclusively of graphic images, each of which is slightly different from the other, which allows to deceive most anti-spam filters. It is also difficult to block because the message body does not contain text and hyperlinks at all.

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