If spam is plaguing your inbox you're definitely not alone. A new report shows that of the billions of emails sent around the world daily, only a fraction of those emails are legitimate.
According to a new study issued by researchers at anti-virus researcher Panda, the astonishing amounts of spam and malware attacks that arrive at companies electronic doorsteps each day is over 90 percent.
That's right, 90 percent.
Of the 430 million email messages surveyed by Panda of its corporate customers in 2008, only 8.4 percent were legitimate.
Newly received spam does, however, still vastly outpace the arrival of e-mail borne malware attacks, which accounted for only 1.11 percent of the messages, the researcher said.
For companies, spam is more than just a nuisance. It consumes bandwidth, wastes employees' time and can even cause system malfunctions. In the end, it all results in a loss of productivity, Luis Corrons, Technical Director of PandaLabs, stated.
The researchers said that the volume of spam being received by customers fluctuated throughout the calendar year, peaking in the second quarter at 94.27 percent of all mail reaching companies. Only January 2008 witnessed levels of spam below 80 percent.
The most common format for spam remains sexual performance-oriented pharmaceuticals. Spam campaigns playing on the ongoing economic turmoil also grew significantly throughout 2008, with fake job offers and diplomas accounting for 2.75 percent of all spam, while mortgage deals and phony loans were responsible for 4.75 percent, the company said.
A special type of unscrupulous malware, called botnets, remained a major element of the spam problem, with over 300,000 newly-activated zombie machines spewing unwanted e-mail during Q4 2008 alone. Botnets utilize an unsuspecting user's computer resources to carry out larger scale attacks, or proliferate spam.
In terms of e-mail-based malware, researchers said that the Netsky.P worm was the program most frequently detected among its users.
The top 10 malware in email rankings for all of 2008 were: