SoftScan has announced that just 0.37% of emails scanned during May were harbouring viruses; the lowest number SoftScan has ever recorded. However, SoftScan warns that this only demonstrates a change in tactics, not that viruses are on their way out, and that users must still be on their guard. Spam accounted for 85.22% of all email scanned in May.
This time last year the percentage of emails stopped as viruses was ten times greater. In May 2004 the level was at 9%. In just two years there has been a significant drop in viruses, which may lead to users becoming complacent about email security. However, the threat to individuals and organisations still remains and the consequences of becoming infected can still be just as devastating.
“Virus writers haven´t gone away, they´ve just changed tactics. It´s no longer about the glory of being infamous, it´s about stealing data for financial gain and to do that successfully requires stealth,” comments Bo Engelbrechtsen, corporate communications manager of SoftScan.
“A scatter gun approach to spreading viruses is no longer a viable method for most criminals – the virus becomes known to anti-virus vendors too quickly. This results in either not enough time to process the illegally gathered data before the user discovers a problem or that too many zombie machines are cleaned before they can be sold to spammers. A softly, softly approach is reaping virus writers far better rewards,” he continues.