A Microsoft security report has 'revealed' that some 97 percent of the emails travelling across the Internet are actually unwanted spam. Well duh, like I didn't realise it was such a big problem. Actually, I didn't, to be fair. Mainly because just about every other security report I have read over the last six months or so has the volume of spam at being around 80 percent. Quite why the Microsoft report has such a huge jump on everyone else has yet to be explained to me.

But it gets better. The report also reckons that drug spam is the biggest problem, and that some of this unwanted email even comes complete with malicious attachments. Shock, horror, those attachments are increasingly coming as MS Office documents or PDF files as well.

Microsoft's Chief Cyber Security Advisor, and a man I actually respect greatly, Ed Gibson told the BBC that this rise in spam signalled a move from targeting software vulnerability and instead homing in on the user weakest link. "With higher capacity broadband and better OS, and higher power computers it is easier now to send out billions of spams. Three or four years ago the capacity wasn't there" Gibson said.

Other revelations in the report include: rogue antivirus software is on the way up and software vulnerabilities are on the way down. But when it comes to surprises, perhaps the fact that while "Microsoft software accounted for 6 of the top 10 browser-based vulnerabilities attacked on computers running Windows XP" when it came to those running Windows Vista that number was a big fat zero.

Sticking with the surprises, while I kind of expected the United States to be named and shamed as the country hosting the highest number of phishing sites, I did not know that Texas was the individual state claiming the title of host with the most.

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About the Author

A freelance technology journalist for 30 years, I have been a Contributing Editor at PC Pro (one of the best selling computer magazines in the UK) for most of them. As well as currently contributing to Forbes.com, The Times and Sunday Times via Raconteur Special Reports, SC Magazine UK, Digital Health, IT Pro and Infosecurity Magazine, I am also something of a prolific author. My last book, Being Virtual: Who You Really are Online, which was published in 2008 as part of the Science Museum TechKnow Series by John Wiley & Sons. I am also the only three times winner (2006, 2008, 2010) of the BT Information Security Journalist of the Year title, and was humbled to be presented with the ‘Enigma Award’ for a ‘lifetime contribution to information security journalism’ in 2011 despite my life being far from over...

Do you suppose that MS genuinely don't realise that it is their history of shoddy (and sometimes non-existent) security practices that have resulted in this deluge or are they just playing the Gordon Brown card and steadfastly refusing to apologise as if it were really somebody else's fault?