Spam Now 95% of Email

Posted on August 1, 2006

Spam now makes up over 95% of all emails. The BBC reports that most of this spam comes from zombie computers -- computers taken over by spammers using bots and worms.

The latest figure means only about 4% of email is legitimate. The BBC says another study from Return Path, an email security company, found that 99% of email is spam or viruses. According to Return Path only 1% off all email is legitimate. The company uses algorithms to create a reputation score for emails. Given spam a reputation score can then help it be filtered out with email software tools so people never have to read it or even see it in their inbox.

Matt Peachy, regional director for IronPort, tells the BBC, "The root cause of spam is the existence of an ever growing and strengthening network of 'botnets'."

Some of the spam out there is very strange and seemingly pointless like Hobbit spam, which uses random bits of prose from Tolkein emails.