'

Spammers curb their habits

Brief: Symantec Brightmail's latest spam statistics show that the amount of junk mail sloshing around the Internet is levelling out

The rate at which spammers are sending junk mail around the Internet appears to be stabilising.

For the last three months, the amount of spam sent around the world has evened off at 66 percent of all email, according to statistics from Symantec Brightmail.

The company was unavailable to comment on the figures at the time of writing, but the statistics do indicate that anti-spam technology and laws could be having an effect on the junk mail problem.

The proportion of all email that is spam has steadily increased from 48 percent of email in March 2003 to the two-third mark today.

Just over 60 percent of today's spam was generated in North America, with almost a quarter (23 percent) of junk mail originated in Asia. European spammers followed in third place, accounting for 11 percent of the email, dwarfing Australasia and South America, which only produced a small amount of spam.

Product-related spam accounted for 30 per cent of the UK's junk email, while it was a quarter of worldwide spam. Financial spam was just under one fifth (19 percent) of the UK's figures, while pornographic email seemed to have dropped this month to 13 percent of the total.

Symantec acquired Brightmail earlier this year for $370m.