Unsolicited Email Legislation Ineffective in 2004
MX Logic, Inc reported that one year after the Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing (CAN-SPAM) Act went into effect, on average 97 percent of unsolicited commercial email over the past year failed to comply with the federal anti-spam law. During 2004, monthly compliance ranged from a low of 0.54 percent in July to a high of 7percent in December.
Scott Chasin, CTO, MX Logic, said "While we applaud the intent of the CAN-SPAM Act, clearly it has had no meaningful impact on the unrelenting flow of spam that continues to clog the Internet and plague inboxes."
In addition to continued growth in spam volume, MX Logic outlined several predictions for 2005, including:
Increase in number of phishing attacks and in attack sophistication. Gartner estimates that 57 million U.S. adults received a "phishing" attack email in the 12 months prior to May 2004. In 2005, Phishers will use trojans to launch attacks by redirecting users to phony Web sites and soliciting account numbers and other personal financial information. As a result, Web browsers will likely add anti-phishing technology, and financial institutions will move toward two-factor authentication tokens and smartcards.
New methods of email-distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks. In 2004, many email users were exposed to MyDoom, the fastest-propagating email worm in history. At the peak of the outbreak, MX Logic reported infection rates of one in every six emails.
Email-borne propaganda from domestic political organizations and from foreign entities such as Al Qaeda affiliates will increase in frequency and in boldness. In June 2004, MX Logic saw the first use of a spambot network to propagate political spam, which is not covered by the CAN-SPAM Act.
In 2005, an expanded number of distributed zombie spam networks will be built and rented out by spammers, providing the infrastructure for a significant increase in the volume of spam that can be distributed. In recent weeks, as much as 69 percent of daily spam came from zombie PCs.
MX Logic predicts that in 2005, service providers will come under continued pressure to provide end users with clean bandwidth-much the same way that water utility companies are expected to provide potable water.
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