According to IT Security company Kaspersky Labs, more than 70% of email sent in Q2 of 2013 was SPAM, an increase of more than 4% over Q1 2013 totals. Although this seems high, it’s been higher. In Q2 of 2012, SPAM represented about 74% of all emails sent.  According to the United States Department of Justice spam is defined as “unsolicited commercial email.”

Kapersky’s study also found that malicious email attachments slightly declined, but they are becoming increasingly harder to spot.  Malicious attachments were found in 2.3% of all emails last quarter, but the tactics used by senders to encourage unsuspecting recipients to open malicious links seem to be getting more creative.  The more traditional message asking recipients for help or to send money is less common, but it’s being replaced with messages that appear more typical of an office environment, and are therefore harder to detect.  Many emails with malicious attachments were sent to corporate email addresses, and often look like delivery failure notifications or auto-replies.

In September 2013 a new twist on malware was introduced. CryptoLocker is a ransomware Trojan which targets computers running Microsoft Windows.  When activated, the malware encrypts certain types of files stored on local and mounted network drives using RSA public-key cryptography, with the private key stored only on the malware’s control servers.  The malware then displays a message which offers to decrypt the data if a payment (through either Bitcoin or a pre-paid voucher) is made by a stated deadline, and threatens to delete the private key if the deadline passes.  If the deadline is not met, the malware offers to decrypt data via an online service provided by the malware’s operators, for a significantly higher price in Bitcoin.

 

Check out this data from Barracuda Networks. Their site http://www.barracudacentral.org/ gives you some amazing up-to-the minute data on email spam and filtering.  You can see global statistics on emails processed, spams blocked, viruses blocked and most importantly, a list of the top viruses that have been blocked in the last 24 hours.

AllConnected’s technical team selected Barracuda Networks because of their use of two sophisticated algorithms and techniques:

Connection Management: During the connection management process, emails are filtered through five defense layers to verify authenticity of envelope information, and any inappropriate incoming mail connections are dropped even before receiving the message.

  • Mail Scanning: Any emails that survive the connection verification process then undergo a thorough mail scanning process that involves an additional seven defense layers of message analysis.
  • The algorithms and techniques used by the Barracuda Spam & Virus Firewall are continuously updated via the hourly Barracuda Energize Updates service to stay ahead of spam trends as they emerge.

 

AllConnected offers two options for using Barracuda to protect and manage your email. We can install a Barracuda solution on your network and educate you on how to use Barracuda or we can provide you with our Spam and Firewall service that is hosted and managed at our AllConnected Data Center. Our flexible offerings give your organization the protection you need depending on the expertise you have available within your organization. Contact your AllConnected representative for more information on Barracuda Networks and the AllConnected Spam and Firewall service.