Forecast for July: Mostly sunny, 100% chance of spam

Spam volumes have been on the decline for the past four months, but they are still double what they were at this time last year, and forecasters at MX Logic Inc., of Englewood, Colo., say they are going to get worse this month.

'Based on historical trends and the upcoming July 4th holiday in the U.S., MX Logic forecasts spam levels to reverse this four-month trend and increase through the end of the month,' the company's threat forecast states. 'In addition, the rise of the Srizbi botnet and summer storms in the U.S. should also contribute to the rise in spam volume.'

MX Logic, an e-mail and Web managed security service provider, reported that although the volume of spam ' unsolicited and often malicious commercial e-mail ' has dropped 10.5 percent since its peak in March, it accounted for more than 89 percent of all e-mail in June, up from 87.6 percent in May.

The upcoming holiday is expected to see a release of another variant of the Storm worm, which has dominated malicious online activity for more than a year. But the Srizbi botnet now accounts for about half of the spam volume and does not appear to be slowing down. MX Logic predicted that two-thirds of the top worms circulating in July will be associated with either the Srizbi or Storm botnets, networks of computers that have been compromised by those worms.

The release of Apple's new iPhone one week after the July 4th holiday is expected to generate more spam and scams, especially if demand outstrips supply. Your best defense is to remember that you are no more likely to get a cheap iPhone from an online offering than you are to get a cheap Rolex. Floods in the Midwest, fires in the West and the possibility of hurricanes in the Gulf Coast region will be likely subjects for fraudulent campaigns.

The top category for spam in June was health, which accounted for two-thirds of spam, most of it directed toward male insecurities. The United States was the largest source of spam.

Have a good holiday weekend, and remember to keep your spam filters ' desktop, server and neural ' updated.

About the Author

William Jackson is a Maryland-based freelance writer.

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