And while spam, overall, made a dramatic jump last month, pornographic spam came out of its nearly year-long slow period -- going from the fourth or fifth most common type of spam to grabbing a firm hold on the second-place spot, according to Oren Drori, a director at Commtouch, a global anti-spam company with its U.S. base in Mountain View, Calif.
''Pornographic spam in the last two or three months has gained a lot more traction,'' says Drori, who oversees the company's spam detection lab. ''Pornography was big in spam and then it slowed down in the second half of 2004. Last month, it started picking up again.''
Commtouch analysts also reported that global spam volumes were up 43.2 percent this past July compared to July 2004. That's 1,120,000 outbreaks on an average day compared to an average of 791,000 outbreaks per day in July 2004.
But Drori acknowledges that phishing, despite its recent growth, still only accounts for 1 percent to 2 percent of all spam. ''Spam is still about selling something,'' he says. ''Stock scams are really becoming a problem.''
China, South Korea and the United States continue to be the top three sources for spam. Accordingt to Commtouch, spammers in China sent 19.29 percent of global spam last month, slightly under the volume originating from Europe as a whole, which was 21.5 percent. Spammers in South Korea sent out 16.93 percent of all global spam, and spammers in the U.S. accounted for 14.73 percent. By comparison, the United Kingdom sent out 2.15 percent, and Canadians sent out 1.48 percent.