LONDON - May 4, 2005 - FrontBridge Technologies Inc., a leading provider of secure managed messaging services, today warned business email users of recent anomalies on its network that point to a flood of spam and viruses aimed at corporate desktops. Spam volumes on the global FrontBridge network reached record highs in April 2005 with peak levels reaching 94%. Viruses also rose sharply driven by a new strain of the SOBER Worm. FrontBridge is one of the world's largest global email handlers, processing more than 5 billion business email messages a month for more than 3,700 companies. FrontBridge's advanced email filtering technologies strip more than 95% of spam and 100% of viruses from inbound and outbound email streams.
Spam email averaged 84.6% of total inbound email in April with a daily high of 94% on April 10. Message volume also sharply rose to a peak total of 237 million messages on April 22. The rise in spam volume can be attributed to large increases in Russian language and stock offer spam. For companies not protected by the FrontBridge perimeter-based managed service, a single exponential increase in spam email could potentially crash an email system.
On the virus front, FrontBridge reported a significant increase of virus-laden email. Most notably, FrontBridge block 45 million incidences of the SOBER.S Worm in a single day. The SOBER.S uses social engineering techniques to send out an email supposedly from the football association, FIFA, informing recipients they've won tickets to the FIFA World Cup in Germany. The messages are tailored to the language of the recipients based on the country-level domains. SOBER.S has contributed significantly to the email spike FrontBridge is viewing on its network because of the viruses' characteristic of sending mail to 25-30 recipients at a time. Typical virus email is sent to 3-5 recipients at a time.
"We're seeing new types of erratic behaviour that's leading us to believe that the profile of spam is changing," said Charles McColgan, chief technology officer for FrontBridge Technologies. "Our research is starting to show new types of message strains that very frequently change their content, limiting the effectiveness of more primitive filters. Our advanced content and context analysis techniques have stopped the bulk of these new types of threats."
FrontBridge's spam filtering technology uses three layers of filtering, ensuring more than 95 percent of spam is blocked before it reaches corporate network with virtually zero false positives.