San Francisco (Aug. 21, 2003) -- As of July, more than half the e-mail sent via the Internet consists of unwanted solicitations, or spam, according to Brightmail, an anti-spam consultant.

Last month, the company identified more than half of the 61 billion e-mail messages it filtered as junk mail, said Enrique Salem, president of Brightmail. "In less than two years, spam messages have increased from 8 percent of all e-mail traffic to more than half -- and we expect this trend to continue," Salem said.

The problem lies in the sophisticated delivery systems of most Internet marketers, who are capable of sending hundreds of millions of e-mail messages each day, at about the same cost as sending out a single message, Salem noted. Even a very low response rate could lead to huge profits for the spammers.

He added that new spammers are cropping up every day, since the barrier to entry is very low, with minimal hardware needs. And established marketers routinely sell e-mail address lists and spam-message generation software for low prices.

Brightmail said the survey results highlight the need for better anti-spam software.

-- WebCPA staff

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