Email viruses soar by 80 per cent

The proportion of email messages infected with a computer virus increased by over 80 per cent in 2002. Experts blame the surge on a new trend involving email address forgery, which is designed to frustrate efforts to prevent a virus from spreading.

New data from MessageLabs, a UK anti-virus company, show that the proportion of emails carrying a virus has increased steadily over the past three years.

During 2002, one in every 212 emails passing through the company's filtering system was a virus. This is nearly double the rate of one in every 380 recorded for 2001. And in 2000 the ratio was one in every 790 email messages.

Alex Shipp, senior anti-virus technologist with MessageLabs, says 2002's most virulent virus, Klez.H uses forged email addresses to subvert efforts to stops its spread.

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News source: NewScientist

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