by Kaspersky Lab News Agent - Friday, 4 April 2003.
As the experts have been predicting, the spam problem is growing at alarming rates and poses much more than an annoyance to businesses as it clogs networks and drags down productivity. The virus threat and its potentially disastrous effects sends shivers down the spines of business owners and managers, but on a daily basis spam - unwanted, un-asked-for junk email - is now or is rapidly becoming enemy number one.Virus activity is indeed growing and the complexity and payload potential of today's viruses is indeed increasing, however, spam is growing at over 20% annually and now accounts for over one-third of all email correspondence. At current growth rates, spam volumes will reach 50% or more of all email traffic by or before year-end. Storage, bandwidth and human costs associated with administration and productivity losses combine to make the spam phenomenon a problem that cannot be ignored.
Making matters even worse, spam messages often contain graphic files that make the messages much larger than messages containing just text and such attachments represent a nice place where viruses can reside.A glaring reason for the meteoric rise of spam levels is money. Spammers get busy spamming because it makes them money, often a lot of money. Spam and spamming is their vocation and they take it seriously. The money generated from their work allows them to hire talented programmers to continually rig new tricks for circumventing filters and masking the spam sender. These tricks pay off well. On the contrary, virus writers typically create viruses just for "fun" and do it on their spare time. Additionally, viruses are complex creatures and take much time to create and debug, whereas any greedy, unscrupulous misanthrope can create and distribute spam. Indeed many do just this and as it has proven to be a moneymaker, more surely will.As individuals and businesses find themselves choking on ever more spam, it is a good guess that anti-spam solutions are on their way to becoming as ubiquitous as anti-virus solutions.