March 6, 2007 6:10 PM PST

'Adult' spam hits all-time low

There's still plenty of spam going around, but "adult" spam has been on a steady decline and hit an all-time low in February, according to a new Symantec report.

Of all the spam filtered by Symantec's e-mail security tools in February, only 3 percent could be classified as adult spam, the company said Tuesday. Adult spam, according to Symantec, contains or refers to "products or services intended for persons above the age of 18" and is "often offensive or inappropriate. Examples: porn, personal ads, relationship advice."

The top spam categories are health care or other general product ads, which combined account for 48 percent of all junk e-mail, Symantec said. Other top spam categories include advertisements for financial services (21 percent) and Internet services (15 percent), according to the Symantec report. Of all junk messages, 8 percent was fraudulent or part of a scam such as phishing, it said.

Spammers continue to tweak their approaches to get past filters. Symantec noted in its study that image spam now includes "slanted text," which refers to an image with embedded spam text rather than plain text in the e-mail. "This technique may decrease the detection capabilities," Symantec said.

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Meaningless stats
It may be 3% of the total spam, but it's still 100% (or some other large percentage) more porn spam in volume than last year.
Posted by tppcnet (36 comments )
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Oh, We Should All Be Thankful Then
That porno spam hit an alltime low. While spam for "health products" has hit an alltime high. I'm going to go out and celebrate by popping some of those male enhancement health products that I just bought over the Internet.
Posted by Stating (869 comments )
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Give me a BREAK!
I do not visit porn sites, yet my email is constantly filled with porn spam. If its at an all-time low NOW, I'd hate to see what my inbox would have looked like last year!
Posted by dbaumforever (1 comment )
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Perhaps you mean: "other spam hits all-time high"?
Adult spam does not worry me. They already reached their peak long ago and they probably know there is no more money for them in sending more spam.

It is other spam that worries me, because spam is slowly but surely adopted by businesses whose core product/service is considered more legitimate than spam, and there are so many of these that they can mrender email useless.
Posted by hadaso (468 comments )
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porn spam is still comming!!!
The porn spam is still comming, but it is just better hidden from filters.

I just filed my judgment packaet on a porn spammer for $3,048,000. I already collected on a $150,000 judgment against them, but they continued to spam.

What they have done is to hide it better. They would use mispelled words, and then relay the spam victim through a redirector hosted on a botnet to the final site target.
So many spammers to sue...
... so little time.
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Posted by (9 comments )
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Believable Since...
Symantec tools suck and probably DOESN'T filter these types of mail, or ISPs do a better job filtering before it gets to users for Symantec to catch.

I run my own mail server and 1/2 of the SPAM I reject is adult orientated. However, most of this mail can be easily rejected at the Mail "SERVER" level since they contain flags easy to detect as SPAM.
Posted by umbrae (1073 comments )
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Regarding 'Slanted Text'
Anyone find it odd that this is pointed out as though it's some new technique to get around filters? If Symantec is trying to use this as an excuse as to why their software doesn't flag more spam than it does, they must think us naive.
Posted by orphu (109 comments )
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Depends on your definition
Okay, so all of those ads for Viagra and the like are technically health care spam. Isn't that kind of thing meant for adults anyhow?
Posted by ddesy (4336 comments )
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I should be happy because porn only represents 3% of my spam...

So what they seem to be saying is you know how 25% of the 600 junk mails you received every week last year was porn. Well we have good news; now only 3% of your 5000 spam messages you receive weekly are porn related.
Posted by ajbright (447 comments )
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WHAT??!! I get 100% Viagra spam!!
That's certainly "adult"... look at the words they use.

What a joke that article is.
Posted by JoeCrow (83 comments )
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I agree, this just means that Symantec hasn't classified spam correctly
Posted by fcekuahd (244 comments )
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Not Google Mail Spam!
I use Road Runner for most of my email, but I use a Google account for a couple of lists I'm on. My RR email gets very little junk mail of any kind, but the Google account averages (that's right, I said averages)40+ spam message per 12-hour day - and nearly every one of them is for Viagra or something along that line. I don't open any of them, but I learned early to read through the list of senders, as Google put one of my kids' messages in the spam file in the beginning.
Posted by Jane in KC (94 comments )
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Spam is Spam is Spam...
Regardless of whether the Adult category has hit an all-time low or not... the rest of the Spam has yet to decrease and is in fact on a consistent climb.

Spam... regardless of categorization or classification... is still Spam.

It's unwanted, unrequested, and continues to clutter our inbox.

Spam is Spam is Spam... Adult or otherwise... until the total Spam has dropped... I'm not buying your story.

Unwanted E-mail is unwanted E-mail regardless of whether it fits into the Adult category or not.

Adult spam on the decrease means nothing unless the total overall Spam is on a decrease.

My inbox doesn't differentiate between Adult Spam and non-Adult Spam... because it shouldn't.

That said... reporting that Adult Spam has decreased means what?

ANSWER: It means Zilch... Spam is still rampant... including Adult Spam... even if it's on a decrease.

Now if Adult Spam had entirely vanished from the face of this earth...


Posted by wbenton (522 comments )
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I tend to agree looking at the spam I get
It seems that most of the spam I get now are variants on the Nigerian scam or ads for stocks.
Seeing alot of the slanted text type ads now as well.
Posted by Chris Cooling (3 comments )
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