Monday, November 19, 2007

A flood of spam

I didn't realize how bad it had become, and it's getting worse all the time. Here's a message from the sysadmin of Macalester:
Since the volume of spam we receive was a critical factor in causing the e-mail delay problem, we'd like to take an opportunity to make clear just how bad the situation with spam really is. During October and November, the average number of incoming e-mail messages has been between 800,000 and 1,000,000 per day. Of this traffic, between 90% and 99% is spam. (For comparison, a year ago our daily traffic load was approximately 200,000 messages per day, of which approximately 80% was
spam.

Worst of all, this proportion of spam to legitimate traffic is not unique to Macalester. It's a worldwide problem, and affects everyone's e-mail everywhere. Thankfully, all but a handful of such spams are blocked before reaching your Inbox. It's a sobering thought, but realize that for every spam message you receive, there are thousands you never see.

If you are curious, real-time and historic statistics regarding our spam load may be found on the Web, here: http://www.macalester.edu/emailstats/
(HT: Pablo via email)

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