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Increase in Spam recenlty

Created: 08 Jul 2009 | 7 comments

I have several domains using Hosted Mail Security. Over the past several weeks all have reported an increase in the amount of spam that gets through. Is this realted to the merger with MessageLabs? I hope not as the brightmail engine did an excellent job of filter spam. I'd hate to have to go looking for another vendor as I really was very pleased with the old HMS.

Anyone seen an uptick in spam getting through as of late?

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TomC 2's picture

I haven't personally heard too many issues with an increase in missed spam, however, there has been an increase in spam lately. As volume increases, it is entirely possible that the volume of missed spam could increase as well. If you go to the following two sites, it gives a good idea of the spam "landscape" and what is out in the wild.

http://www.symantec.com/business/theme.jsp?themeid...

http://www.symantec.com/business/security_response...

What kind of volume are you seeing? I would always suggest that users submit whenever they can. So you may want to direct your users to the following document:

Title: 'Manually submitting spam and false positive messages to the Symantec Security Response Center'
Document ID: 2005012415180263
> Web URL: http://service1.symantec.com/SUPPORT/ent-gate.nsf/...

Hope this helps!
Tom 

TomC 2's picture

Oh and by the way, the increase you are seeing would have nothing to do with the recent acquisition of Message Labs. These are separate entities and there shouldn't be any cutover of either technology or efforts between them.

And if you continue to see an issue, please give us a call and we can see if there is more that we can do. I have seen a few occasions where one of the Symantec spam filtering servers didn't get updated spam definitions, but this is pretty uncommon.

Thanks! 

PaulBailey's picture

Is Symantec still updating SHMS servers?  I too have noticed an increase in spam and when I contacted my Symantec reseller they were under the impression Symantec was promoting MessageLabs product and not updating SHMS.  It is obvious the contents of the messages getting through were spam. 

TomC 2's picture

 I can assure you that we are still updating the SHMS servers. I cannot speak for the efforts of the team working directly with the servers, but I do know that our main goal is to make any transitionary period as seamless as possible. If there are any issues with missed spam, we want to hear about it up to the last second we are supporting this service.

As far as the transition to MessageLabs, I believe at this point we are only selling new SKUs for that service but anyone who has an active contract will still be supported for the length of their contract. (I'm not 100% on all the details so please don't quote me on that.)

As far as the obviousness of spam, I don't think I would ever say from our perspective that spam is obvious. What is spam to one person is legitimate to another. For whatever reason, (I would never know) some people may want to get email about Viagra. So we can't just block all messages that say Viagra in them. So we really have to work to make sure that we are not blocking messages that shouldn't be blocked, but at the same time trying to avoid false positives.

I hope this clears things up a little. As I was saying, if you have any issues with missed spam at any decent volume, please call us and open a case.

Thank you!
Tom

jackquil36's picture

THis increasing spam is serious. A massive increase in spam originating from China and the Far East could mark the beginning of a worrying trend that will create more problems for organisations already struggling to cope with unwanted emails. Also, social networks are increasingly under attack, a trend that Symantec says is likely to continue. I think we should proactively submit and report passed spam manually so that their patterns do get note of and symantec may use these inputs for future developments.

deepak.vasudevan's picture

More than spam the deeper dangerous dreadbul brother is 'Phishing'. Elevated priority should be attributed to it to ensure phished contents are filtered from reaching the mailboxes. I do use PhishTank at times and I see a few URLs are let in by the gateway but PhishTank warns me.

vimax's picture

Spam is one of the greatest bugbears that business owners have to endure. It seems that almost every day your name has been added to another list and you are continually bombarded with hundreds of e-mail messages a day trying to entice you in one way or another. In fact, nearly 50% of the world's e-mail is spam.

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