Microsoft says e-mails are spam-dominated
Wed, 08 Apr 2009 17:23:48 GMT
A Microsoft security report says over 97% of e-mails sent over the net are dominated by spam adverts and contain malicious attachments.
Microsoft says that although the global ratio of infected machines is 8.6 for every 1,000 uninfected machines, users should not panic about the high levels of their unwanted e-mails.
"The good news is that the majority of that never hits your inbox although some will get through," head of security and privacy for Microsoft in the UK Cliff Evans told the BBC.
The report, which covers online activities of the second half of 2008, also says that Office document attachments and PDF files were the main targets for hackers.
"With higher capacity broadband and better OS (operating systems), and higher power computers it is easier now to send out billions of spams. Three or four years ago the capacity wasn't there," said Microsoft's chief cyber security advisor, Ed Gibson.
This is while the Message Labs e-mail security firm said the Microsoft figure for unwanted e-mail was surprisingly high and that spam rates had fallen at the end of 2008.
"Our own analysis shows that around 81% of e-mail traffic we were processing was identified as spam and unwanted," said Message Labs senior analyst Paul Woods.
According to the Microsoft report, Russia, Brazil, Turkey and Serbia are the countries suffering the most from malicious software or malware.
Gibson advised users to protect themselves and others by updating applications, such as Office and Adobe.
"If you don't update your software you are not just a hazard to yourself, you are hazard to others because you can be part of a botnet [if your computer is hijacked]."
The report also warns about scareware or fake security programs which falsely ask people to install software which steal personal details from users' PC.
TE/HGH - source press tv