I was reading the Network World coverage last night of the McAfee Spam Report stating spam rates were down 20%. While McAfee’s numbers are probably accurate, my initial reaction was “Bull$#(&”, because I personally am not seeing a drop in spam. If the McAfee report, as well as Brian Krebs’ posts, show the totals are down, why am I getting a lot more spam, increasing weekly to the point where I am becoming actively annoyed again? I was wondering how much was due to the launch of the new Securosis web site, which was the ‘cat and mouse’ cyclical changing of spam techniques, and how much was an anti-spam provider not keeping up.
I spent a couple of hours last night combing through Postini alerts, my internal junk folder, and the deleted spam that had made it to my inbox. What I found was a linear progression from the time we started with Postini until now, with increasing rates getting caught by my internal spam filter, and a corresponding linear increase getting into the Inbox. Not sure why I allowed this to capture my efforts on Cinco de Mayo, especially considering I have developed a really good margarita recipe that deserved some focused appreciation, but hey, I have no life, and the article grabbed my interest enough to go exploring.
Anyway, I think that Postini is just falling behind the curve. We switched over September of 2008. My email address was broadcast when I joined Rich last July and I was surprised that there was not more spam. When we added the Postini service, no spam was getting through for a while, and every evening I would get my Postini status digest of the one or two spam messages it had intercepted. I still get these, and the digest always shows 1-2 emails captured. However, I am getting several dozen in my internal spam folder and another 15-20 in my inbox. And it is the old school blatant “Bank of Nigeria” and “Lottery Winner ” stuff that is sneaking in. Even the halfway well-executed Citibank/Chase/BofA Security alert phishing attempts are getting caught my my personal filters, so how in the world is this stuff getting through Postini? This is not the 97-99% percent blockage that I talked about in the past, and customers have reported to me. I just did a survey 9 months ago and it may already be out of date.
It’s time to make a change. The beauty of spam filtering as SaaS is that we can change without pain. I am on the lookout for a 10 seat SaaS anti-spam plan. Got recommendations? I would love to hear them. Share your advice and I will share my margarita recipe.