Brightmail: March Worst Spam Month Ever

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Despite high-profile prosecutions under the new federal anti-spam law, unwanted e-mail reached its highest levels ever in March, according to anti-spam company Brightmail.


The company reported that 63 percent of all e-mail traffic in March was spam, a rise from 62 percent a month earlier and 58 percent in December. The figures suggest that unwanted commercial e-mail has worsened since the CAN-SPAM Act took effect Jan. 1.


Brightmail, San Francisco, tracks spam through its Probe Network, which deploys dummy e-mail accounts to identify spam messages that it then blocks for clients.


AOL recently reported good news in its fight against spam, claiming that better spam-fighting technology and spammer prosecutions were working. The Internet service said it has seen a decrease in the number of user complaints, messages directed to users' spam folders and volume of e-mail from mid-February to mid-March.


AOL spokesman Nicholas Graham said the company did not have statistics for the full month of March.


According to Brightmail, product-related e-mail remained the most prevalent spam category, accounting for 25 percent of the spam Brightmail blocked. It was followed by financial services at 20 percent; and adult material with 15 percent.


Brightmail filed for an $80 million initial public offering March 23.


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