Feeds

Email inboxes get respite from smut

'Inappropriate' attachments decline

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Top three mobile application threats

The volume of pornographic images sent as email attachments is declining, according to MessageLabs.

The email filtering firm recorded one pornographic or otherwise inappropriate email for every 4,756 messages sent through its service for the six months from March – August 2004. In the same period last year, the ratio was one in 1,357 (0.07 per cent). These figures refer to porno emails and the like sent to MessageLabs customers by their mates not those sent by spammers, Paul Wood, chief information analyst at MessageLabs, explained.

Inappropriate content - which includes pornography, cartoons, jokes, greetings cards and other non-work related material - can waste valuable bandwidth and offend employees. In many instances, such images are in violation of corporate acceptable usage policies, MessageLabs says.

Mark Sunner, chief technology officer at MessageLabs, said a possible explanation for the drop is "growing enforcement of corporate governance requirements. For companies that use email to conduct critical business transactions and communications, corporate governance can be a great concern. We are now seeing a number of organisations using email management solutions to help ensure compliance and reduce risk. The effect of this could be one of the reasons why fewer inappropriate images are being sent via email."

MessageLabs also recorded a drop in the spam and viruses in the email messages it scanned last month. Of all email scanned by MessageLabs’ Anti-Spam service in August 2004, 84.2 per cent was categorised as spam, compared to 94.5 per cent during July 2004. And 6.9 per cent of the emails scanned by MessageLabs’ Anti-Virus service were identified as virus-infected during August, a decrease from the 7.3 per cent intercepted during July.

According to Sunner, the summer months are "often a quiet time for virus and spam distribution – despite exceptions like last August’s SoBig-F virus. Virus activity tends to be cyclical, with periods of stability punctuated by outbreaks of varying significance."

But what about the fall in spam? MessageLabs reckons a recent US cybercrime crackdown - Operation Web Snare - in which more than 150 people were arrested for various offences, may have taken some spammers offline, or prompted others into suspending operations temporarily. ®

Related stories

Civil servants sacked over Net porn
Shackling the email content beast
HP email abuse dismissals unfair, says tribunal

3 Big data security analytics techniques

More from The Register

next story
Dropbox defends fantastically badly timed Condoleezza Rice appointment
'Nothing is going to change with Dr. Rice's appointment,' file sharer promises
Audio fans, prepare yourself for the Second Coming ... of Blu-ray
High Fidelity Pure Audio – is this what your ears have been waiting for?
Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?
And just when Brit banking org needs £400m to stay afloat
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
Apple DOMINATES the Valley, rakes in more profit than Google, HP, Intel, Cisco COMBINED
Cook & Co. also pay more taxes than those four worthies PLUS eBay and Oracle
It may be ILLEGAL to run Heartbleed health checks – IT lawyer
Do the right thing, earn up to 10 years in clink
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.