What’s the break down of spam?

I see on Symantec’s Twitter feed that roughly 82% of all spam is pharmaceutical spam.

Pharmaceutical spam now accounts for 81.9% of all spam. Europe is more likely to receive it than other regions, and Asian ones least of all.

My own statistics do not confirm this, but they do confirm that pharmaceutical spam is the largest source of spam that we receive network wide.  That it accounts for 82% is a realistic number.

I decided to take a random look at my junk mail quarantine for one of my email accounts.  Below is a snapshot:


[Click for larger image]

This is from my latest spam quarantine snapshot, there are 19 messages (I removed one false positive because I am on a discussion list that is prone to FPs due to its content).  Of the 19 messages, 15 are pharmaspam, or 79%.  That’s pretty close to Symantec’s numbers, in fact, I’d say it confirms their numbers.  This is, of course, non-scientific and not statistically valid, but it’s nice to know that if I want cheap pharmaceuticals, I can always check my spam folder.

Incidentally, from the Microsoft Security and Intelligence Report, version 7, here’s the breakdown of spam that we saw in the first half of 2009:


If you add the Pharmacy categories together it is around half.  Non-pharmacy product ads includes Rolex watches which is what the other messages are in my spam folder.  So, my stats agree with Symantec’s even if the numbers are not quite the same.  Of course, these numbers are a little old right now so new ones could obviously re-orient things and tip the balance into pharmaspam’s “favor” even more.

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