Feeds

Bounced spam messages hammer corporate networks

A $5bn a year problem, claims self-serving survey

The essential guide to IT transformation

More than 50 per cent of the largest US corporations have experienced mail service outages or delays because of bounced spam messages targeting their networks, according to a study by gateway security firm Ironport Systems.

Spammers commonly forge the sender's email address so that some poor innocent - rather than a spammer - has to cope with the load of bounced messages sent to invalid email addresses. According to Ironport's study, these bounced messages make up 11 per cent of all all "hostile mail", other categories of which include spam, viruses, and phishing emails.

Even though less than 0.5 per cent of bounced messages make it through to end users, the IT help desk costs associated with spam messages exceed $5bn a year. Most of these help desk calls are unnecessary because the message the end-user received was a misdirected bounce falsely claiming that a recipient had sent a virus-infected email to some unknown party.

Gauging the financial cost associated with computer viruses and spyware is a notoriously inexact science. Ironport's figures also need to be approached with caution because they're used to support a sales pitch for Ironport's Email Reputation (spam bounce) technology, doubtless a top piece of kit. A full copy of Ironport's survey can be obtained here (registration required). ®

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Ice cream headache as black hat hacks sack Dairy Queen
I scream, you scream, we all scream 'DATA BREACH'!
Goog says patch⁵⁰ your Chrome
64-bit browser loads cat vids FIFTEEN PERCENT faster!
NIST to sysadmins: clean up your SSH mess
Too many keys, too badly managed
Scratched PC-dispatch patch patched, hatched in batch rematch
Windows security update fixed after triggering blue screens (and screams) of death
Researchers camouflage haxxor traps with fake application traffic
Honeypots sweetened to resemble actual workloads, complete with 'secure' logins
Attack flogged through shiny-clicky social media buttons
66,000 users popped by malicious Flash fudging add-on
New Snowden leak: How NSA shared 850-billion-plus metadata records
'Federated search' spaffed info all over Five Eyes chums
Three quarters of South Korea popped in online gaming raids
Records used to plunder game items, sold off to low lifes
Oz fed police in PDF redaction SNAFU
Give us your metadata, we'll publish your data
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?