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UK Specific spamming survey

ClearMyMail : 21 May, 2008  (Technical Article)
ClearMyMail reveals spam and phishing statistics for the UK for the first quarter of 2008 with Abbey topping the list of financial institutions to be hit by phishing attacks
The UK's only guaranteed anti-spam company has revealed results of their first ever quarterly spamming index and, Abbey has by far been subjected to the greatest proportion of Phishing attacks. All results from the spamming index are evaluated below.

A leading UK based anti-spam software company has today revealed results of their first quarterly spamming index for Q1 2008. When assessing the quantities of spam that ClearMyMail had prevented from reaching intended participants between January 2008 and March 2008, some worrying results were collated. Figures show that 8,156 emails were blocked, per customer, during those three months.

A breakdown of these emails revealed Abbey to be the main company targeted by Phishing attacks, customers' who choose Orange as an Internet Service Provider to receive the highest percentage of spam and the USA continuing to be the main source of the UK's Phishing attacks.

Results show the Top 10 most popular company names used by email fraudsters when targeting the personal finance industry; Abbey had previously only received 6% of the total proportion of Phishing emails blocked; this has quite dramatically changed, taking them well into the lead.

Top 10 UK Companies Targeted by Phishing Attacks:.

1 Abbey = 32.99% of all Phishing emails blocked were targeting Abbey Bank.
2 Citi Bank = 19.15%.
3 Natwest = 11.60%.
4 Halifax = 8.49%.
5 PayPal = 7.19%.
6 HSBC = 6.69%.
7 Lloyds TSB = 6.01%.
8 RBS = 4.17%.
9 Nationwide = 2.42%.
10 MBNA = 0.57%.

Comparatively to Abbey, Halifax has led the way up the fraudsters' rankings. The final quarter of 2007 resulted in Halifax only receiving 0.8% of the total proportion of Phishing emails blocked. This has since risen to 8.49%.

On the contrary, HSBC has dropped 3 places in ClearMyMail's Top 10; previously amounting to 11% of all emails blocked and now plummeting to 6.69%. MBNA has consistently received the least amount of spam emails, rising from 0.5% from the last quarter, to just 0.57% this quarter.

The below figures indicate the Top 10 spam targeted UK Internet Service Provider's (ISP's) and thus reflects which ISP is potentially the most harmful, to date. The percentage reflects how many of the individual ISP's customers' emails are indeed spam.

Top 10 UK ISP's Who's Customers Receive the Most Spam:.

1 Orange = 96% average spam rate.
2 Toucan = 92.5%.
3 Force 9 = 90.3%.
4 UK Servers = 89.9%.
5 Pipex = 88.5%.
6 = 85.9%.
7 Sky = 84.9%.
8 BT Internet = 84.7%.
9 Talk Talk = 82.8%.
10 Tiscali = 81.3%.

Research showed that a massive 96% of all emails that have gone through the ClearMyMail anti-spam system via Orange ISP's, were either spam or virus related. This is bad news for Orange, whose last quarterly results saw them at only 6th place, with an 89% average spam rate.

In contrast, Talk Talk and Force 9 have demonstrated some positive results; Force 9 was previously the leader with a 95% average spam rate, dropping 4.2% this quarter. Talk Talk has, by far, revealed the greatest improvement, dropping from 2nd place in Q4 2007 with a 95% average spam rate, to a significantly lower 82.8%, tumbling to 9th place.

ClearMyMail also looked at which countries produce the highest number of UK targeted spam and, much like Q4 2007, America is leading the way with just under 20% of all rogue emails coming from the USA.

Top 10 Countries Sending Spam to UK Email Accounts:.

1 USA = 19.53% of UK spam comes from USA.
2 UK = 15.68%.
3 Uruguay = 6.45%.
4 Turkey = 4.96%.
5 Russia = 3.68%.
6 Spain = 3.46%.
7 Poland = 3.29%.
8 Germany = 3.25%.
9 China = 3.19%.
10 France = 3.12%.

However, it is important to note that despite leading this poll for the second consecutive quarter, the percentage of spam emails coming to the UK from the USA has dropped by almost 30% since the last quarter. The 19.53% of emails coming from the USA is being closely followed by the UK, who is now responsible for 15.68% of all rogue emails entering UK email accounts; an increase of 2.59% from the last quarter.

The most dramatic changes have been from China, Germany and France; each dropping significantly on ClearMyMail's Top 10 results. These countries had previously ranked high in the Top 10 countries sending spam to UK email accounts, coming in at 3rd, 4th and 5th place. They have now plunged to 8th, 9th and 10th place, therefore becoming less threatening to UK email users.

The results this quarter reflect more European countries becoming a threat to UK email accounts and it is suggested that spammers and Phishers are getting more targeted and even local. This allows spammers to know the markets they are targeting and therefore maximise the outcomes of rogue emails.

Dan Field, Managing Director of ClearMyMail, discusses these recent findings:

"Clearly these statistics are very concerning, and to discover that only 4% of emails to some ISP's are genuine, suggests that more action desperately needs to be taken. Again, I reiterate the importance of ISP's, anti-spam and anti-virus providers all working together to fully utilize their fraud protection capabilities, and eliminate the time consuming and frustrating process of sieving through spam emails."

UK based ClearMyMail is the only company in the world to offer a complete no spam guarantee. The software prevents all forms of spam and phishing emails, cutting out the risk of fraud.

The system has the ability to also stop the new wave of 'image-spam' that has been increasingly hitting in-boxes.

ClearMyMail is the first anti-spam software company to receive a 5-Star award from WebUser magazine.

The business has recently won an award for innovation and was short listed for several technical industry awards in 2007.

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