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Spam/Phishing — What's Happening Lately? (2007)

Our Great Spam Experiment started in 2004, but it wasn't until 2006 that spam started to arrive in our special mailboxes in volume, and we've now had two full years of data. We received 39,904 spam emails in 2006, and 52,538 in 2007 — an increase of about 35%.

So, in case you didn't already know, spam is not going away.

Neither is phishing. We logged 526 phish emails against a single mailbox in 2006, and 713 in 2007, an increase of — wait for it — 35%. Phishing emails went from approximately 1½ per day to almost 2 per day!

The most popular targets for phishing were PayPal, eBay and Bank of America. Local institutions heavily targeted were Westpac, St George and Suncorp, with a few attempts against Commonwealth and NAB.

So what can be done? In a previous newsletter we discussed why you receive spam/phishing and what can be done about it. Put simply, you can use local filtering or change your address. Microsoft Outlook 2003/2007, Windows Mail in Windows Vista and Mozilla Thunderbird all feature excellent spam/phishing filters.

If you've been loyal to Outlook Express in Windows XP, you've had to suffer without a spam filter. However, Microsoft recently released Windows Live Mail, which is a bit like the Vista version of Windows Mail, and includes a spam filter. When you install Windows Live Mail, it will detect and import your existing messages and accounts. Give it a try at: http://get.live.com/wlmail/overview.

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