Back-to-school, politics spur spam to new heights

Spurred by back-to-school sales and political pitches, spam e-mail accounted for 82 percent of all the inbound e-mail processed during August, and made up 90 percent of all mail sent during one spam-filled day last month, according to an e-mail security firm.

FrontBridge Technologies Inc. of Marina del Rey, California, said it blocked 2.5 billion spam messages in Aug, of 3.1 billion messages processed during that month. The e-mail storm reached a peak on Aug 30, when 90 percent of all the messages processed by FrontBridge were spam, the company said in a statement.

FrontBridge, which offers e-mail management and security services for companies, compiled its data from more than 2,200 global customers and 15,000 e-mail domains.

Offers for back-to-school items and political spam from around the world led the charge in August. The 85 percent figure compares with a monthly total of 80 percent spam in July and 57 percent spam one year ago, according to figures provided by FrontBridge.

The company also stopped 34 million virus-infected e-mail messages in August. FrontBridge licenses antivirus technology from a number of companies, which it uses in its services.

The one-day high of 90 percent topped the previous one-day concentration of spam of 85 percent, set in June, the company said.

The story could have been worse. The volume of spam last month was actually lower, due to reduced output from spam operations in Boca Raton, Florida, which lost power after two hurricanes hit the southern state last month, the company said.

Over all, spam volume has increased 1,600 percent since the company began filtering it in 2000, FrontBridge said.

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