26/01/09 - Escape WARNS OF FUTURE SPAM NETWORKS
At one point or another we have all had a one way battle with junk mail, but now that the company blamed for producing half of the world’s web spam has been shut down will the problem diminish? And what measures should company’s be taking to minimize the risks of harmful spam threatening their business?
Web firm McColo, based in California’s silicon valley, was shut down last month and spam mail has reportedly decreased globally by 70%. Investigators found evidence to support that the organisation was the source for most illegal spam activity. Spammers filter through networks of web-hosting computer firms that have enough power to send millions of messages per day. At times, these hosts do not know it is taking place but communication is necessary for the scheme to work.
Researchers and experts believe that closing down McColo will not be a long-term solution as spammers find other outlets for their illegal dealings - as indicated by the Attack Intelligence Research Center Threat Report (AIRC). Organisations can make a lot of money from allowing spam senders to use their network and many believe that other countries such as Russia, where illegal computer operations are on the rise, will cash in on this opportunity.
Spam mail is only one of many security threats that can hit a network if it is not protected. Hackers are also using websites as a way of exploiting users - a report recently published by the Metropolitan Police highlighted that e-crime is the most rapidly expanding form of criminality.
Most recently, software giant Microsoft, have faced a major crisis with their Internet Explorer browser which has reportedly attacked over 2million Window users. The exploit has been designed to steer users on to infected websites. In turn, once the web page has been opened downloaders are installed as a way of stealing vital information, such as passwords, credit card details, and even record keystrokes. Microsoft Internet Explorer is most widely used Internet browser in the world,and the flaw has already infected more than 10,000 recorded sites with most of the affected sites in chinese.
It is extremely important for businesses to be aware of the dangers internally and externally in using the web as a communication tool. There are various products to enhance security including Trend Worry Free Antivirus and an email scanning system that we have developed called Mailguard. This will monitor and stop virtually all spam and viruses. Other similar products include Messagelabs and Black Spider and having mail routed through filtering systems can also ensure there are reduced issues with spam.
Escape Business Technologies is an Aberdeen-based IT firm focused on developing new products and systems for improved IT processes.
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