Study finds spam worse in manufacturing sector

Wednesday, 16 October 2002, 11:12 AM EST

A new report analyzing e-mail messages sent during September found that the problem of viruses and unsolicited e-mail continued to grow last month, hitting manufacturing, banking and finance, and health care particularly hard.

The report, prepared by e-mail security company MessageLabs Ltd., reviewed e-mail messages scanned by that company during the month. MessageLabs scanned 196 million e-mail messages for viruses and 63 million messages as part of its SkyScan AS (Anti-Spam) service. Among the company's findings, released in a statement outlining the study:

-- Spam, as unsolicited e-mail is commonly known, accounted for 17 percent of the 63 million e-mail messages scanned as part of the antispam service for a 15 percent increase over August.

-- Spam made up more than a quarter of all e-mail messages sent to companies in the manufacturing and engineering sector using MessageLabs services.

-- The finance and banking, legal, and health care industries also recorded high levels of spam, ranging from 9 percent (banking) to 20 percent (health care) of all e-mail sent, according to MessageLabs.

-- The number of e-mail messages infected with computer viruses grew 15 percent in September, compared to August, accounting for about 1 million or one half of 1 percent of the 196 million e-mail messages scanned by MessageLabs. Of those, more than half were attributed to one virus, Klez.h.

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