Papal succession fuels April religious spam blitz

God, Mammon and malware

globalisation

Junk mail relating to religion has soared during April, accounting for one in 10 spam emails. Porn, medicines and financial scams - spam's unholy trinity - each lost ground to religious junk mail last month, according to a study by email management specialist Email Systems.

The global interest in religion that accompanied the death of Pope John Paul II and the naming of Pope Benedict XVI as his successor captured the imagination of spammers, who used it to develop a string of dubious offers. These spam email promoted allegedly free biographies and audio books regarding the late Pope John Paul II, for example. Others offered promises to build a cathedral in his honour in exchange for a donation.

Overall spam email made up an average of 91.8 per cent of the messages scanned through email Systems' filtering service In April. Although many hundreds of thousands of viruses are still being sent each month, only 0.42 per cent of traffic monitored by Email Systems was virus-infected. ®

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