MXLogic Expects Spam Volumes to Jump for the Holidays
- By James E. Powell
Think you have a lot of spam now? Just wait.
This week, MX Logic, Inc., a managed security service provider based in Englewood, Colo., predicted that spam levels will spike by 50 percent over current levels by the end of the year. To no one’s surprise, the holiday retail rush is behind the rise, which represents a doubling of volume since January of 2007.
Compounding the deluge, MX Logic's threat research said it expects the Storm Worm to resurrect in the coming months as spammers utilize botnets to hide their tracks.
The company recommended vigilance to avoid social engineering tactics, such as e-card and holiday-related e-mails (many are associated with the Storm Worm). The company noted that hackers are directing users to Web sites "where malicious downloadable files are disguised as festive screen savers or audio files that can wreak havoc on computers."
IT managers must be particularly alert. MXLogic reminded administrators that the increase in employee’s online shopping during the holiday leaves unprotected networks especially vulnerable.
According to Sam Masiello, director of threat management at MX Logic, "We expect hackers to use the traditional retail rush to target unsuspecting holiday shoppers and potentially compromise their sensitive information through innovative new delivery methods and malware payloads."
The expected spam surge will gauge spam levels for next year. Each January, MX Logic said, the company’s threat research records a slight drop in e-mail traffic immediately after the holiday season, but spam levels plateau at much higher levels each year.
"We recommend businesses deploy a layered managed security service model that includes e-mail and Web defense to prevent messages and malware from entering the network perimeter," Masiello advised. "These combined tools allow businesses to focus on their core competencies rather than on the time and costs associated with implementing, training and maintaining security applications."