Application security

Spam troubles continue in Canada

There's more than just fish in the nets in Shediac, Shippagan and Bouctouche.

Almost 93 out of every 100 emails received by the average New Brunswick worker is spam, making them the most-spammed people in Canada. The average spam rate in Canada is 88 percent, 1.3 percent below the global average.

The spam rates reported in a MessageLabs Intelligence Special Report are based on analysis of email that flows into the mail servers of the 30,000 clients of Symantec Hosted Services.

The rates are higher for certain industries, says Paul Wood, senior analyst for Symantec. “It seemed less important to the spammers as to where the recipient was located than what type of business they were in or how large the company may be.”

The hospitality, accommodation and catering sectors are quite vulnerable to spam, says Wood, who cites their inclination to promote email use as a means of communicating with clients. That makes tourist-friendly New Brunswick an obvious target.

“It seems also that small- to medium-sized businesses received more spam than larger enterprises,” says Wood.

The rationale, he says, is that smaller businesses have fewer legitimate addresses, but spammers attack them the same way as large companies – generating millions of valid-looking email addresses by combining first and last names and corporate domain names.

“This can easily cripple an email server that is used to receiving tens of thousands of emails daily, not millions.”

He also draws a correlation between New Brunswick's high spam rate and the fact that it is the only Canadian province with 100 percent broadband coverage.

“The fact that there are more people online means that there are more computers that can be exploited or compromised.”

Overall, Wood estimates that some 120 billion new unsolicited emails are sent every day.

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