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Spam reaches massive proportions

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Just when you thought spam levels were declining, one ISP has found that close to 100% of all e-mails passing through its systems last week were spam. 

The anti-spam team at Internet Solutions (IS) are used to high volumes of spam but last week, spam broke records by contributing to 97% of the total volume of all emails sent into their Anti Spam client community.
“IS watched – initially with dismay – as our work queue averages across the anti-spam platform shot from 23 000 per hour to 30 000 per hour,” says Hayden Lamberti, GM of Security Solutions at IS.
“Over the past three weeks, we've severely upgraded our Anti Spam infrastructure across our core Internet Data Centres (IDCs). Average memory utilisation for our carrier class IronPort devices pushing 30 000 emails per hour through its work queue is 30%.
"Within a month IS will have over five carrier class IronPort devices per site. Based on what we've seen, we can comfortably handle 65 000 emails per hour through the work queue per machine. So that's 325 000 emails per hour per site without running the boxes 'hot'.
"So we are well equipped to face the onslaught of increasing volumes and have capacity to meet market demand for the solution which will be driven by the higher spam volumes,” says Lamberti.
In March, the team handled 1,65 billion e-mails, of which only 70-million were valid.
Lamberti adds: “Not only does filtering at the provider edge eliminate hundreds of spam messages flooding the user's inbox, but all that traffic is being stopped at IS before it goes down the clients leased line. This provides massive bandwidth savings as opposed to an onsite mail filter.
"And, of course, filtering spam at the provider edge removes a considerable amount of security threats to both the corporate network and to individual users.”