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Spam is a Regional Problem

I've been watching MessageLabs for several years -- and they've firmly entrenched themselves as "the" go-to people in the world of email. They are major player in integrated messaging and web security services and claim over 18,000 clients from small business to Fortune 500 -- in 86 countries!

With that kind of customer base you'd expect that they have lots of interesting data to share -- and they do so regularly. Today's sharing of spam rates is evidence of that. Full release is after the jump.

NEW YORK (July 16, 2008) – MessageLabs today announced year-to-date spam rates for individual U.S. states, according to MessageLabs Intelligence data. The top 10 most spammed U.S. states are as follows:


  1. Illinois
  2. South Dakota
  3. Oregon
  4. New Hampshire
  5. Wisconsin
  6. North Carolina
  7. Indiana
  8. Texas
  9. Pennsylvania
  10. Alabama

The varying spam levels across states can be attributed to different socioeconomic factors and levels of security awareness in each state,” said Matt Sergeant, Senior Anti-Spam Technologist at MessageLabs.

“The states that are experiencing higher spam levels may not place as high a priority on IT security overall or employees and businesses may be more willing to share their personal contact information in public domains. When email addresses are openly available, spammers take advantage of it and inundate those inboxes with massive amounts of spam.”  

MessageLabs scans 3 billion email connections per day and in June 2008, the global ratio of spam in email traffic from new and previously unknown bad sources was 81.5 percent. The lowest percentage of spam going to a single state was 78.5 percent. The average spam level for the entire U.S. reached 86 percent in June.  

“Not only are spam levels increasing, we are also seeing several new and different types of spam,” Sergeant said. “Spam has become mailed out in smaller, more targeted batches and spammers are using varying approaches from leveraging celebrity names and current events to grab attention to exploiting mainstream hosted services like Microsoft Skydrive and Google Docs to evade spam filters. Spammers are relentless in their tactics for exploiting computer users.”

NOTE:These numbers were taken from MessageLabs Intelligence data measuring total number of incoming spam before the deployment of connection management and traffic shaping techniques.

The Progressive Accountant
Greg LaFollette, CPA.CITP, is the executive editor of The Progressive Accountant. He has been involved with public accounting for nearly 40 years and to ensure he stays completely current with the needs of the practicing accountant, he is also a senior manager of tax and technology consulting with Top 25 firm Eide Bailly LLP.
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