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Spam choking Belgium

Published on 05/10/2004

5 October 2004

BRUSSELS – The problem of unsolicited ‘spam’ emails is already hitting Belgium hard and looks set to get considerably worse over the coming year, it was reported on Tuesday.

Former state backed telecoms company Belgacom, one of Belgium’s biggest internet service providers, told La Derniere Heure newspaper that it had intercepted and destroyed 1.1 billion spam emails this year alone and predicted the problem would worsen over the next 12 months.

The telecoms firm said it expected the volume of spam e-mails to increase by ten percent by this time next year.

Unsolicited emails have been deluging electronic mail boxes everywhere during the last few months.

Apart from the annoyance they cause, the messages risk overloading servers and many carry viruses.

A recent study by email security firm MessageLabs said 63 percent of messages sent in the first six months of this year were bulk, unwanted emails, with 8.3 percent of mails containing a virus.

A year ago, 37.9 percent were spam and in 2002, only 1.5 percent.

“Sending a virus doesn’t make any money,” said one expert to La Derniere Heure.

“By contrast, sending a spam can be very lucrative. If one message is sent, at very low cost, to a million people and only one percent of people take notice of it, that’s still 10,000 people. That explains why many pirates are now sending spam,” he added.

[Copyright Expatica 2004]

Subject: Belgian news