SAN FRANCISCO, March 8

/PRNewswire-FirstCall/ --

Including data from some of the world's largest Internet Service Providers, MAAWG (Messaging Anti-Abuse Working Group) has developed its first metrics report outlining the scope of the problem and validating that approximately 80 percent of Internet traffic today is abusive email. The report, "MAAWG Email Metrics Program: The Network Operators' Perspective," provides data for the fourth quarter of 2005 and will continue to be updated on a quarterly basis as an objective tool for tracking the industry's efforts at controlling abusive email.

The report was initially presented to the OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development) on March 6 as a private sector initiative supporting efforts to combat messaging abuse and its effect on the global digital economy. Metrics derived from the report for the fourth quarter of 2005 concluded that:

    * There were more than 1,000 blocked or tagged inbound emails per 
mailbox.

    * With more than 1.5 dropped connections for every unaffected email
      delivered, there were approximately 500 dropped connections for 
each
      mailbox.

    * Participating MAAWG operators saw approximately 4 blocked or 
tagged
      inbound emails for every unaffected email that was delivered,
      representing 80 percent of the traffic on their networks as 
abusive.

    * Assuming 1 abusive email for each dropped connection, the ratio of
      blocked or tagged inbound emails for each unaffected email 
delivered
      increases to 5.6 emails or 85 percent.

The MAAWG email metrics program includes over 100 million mailboxes, providing a statistically significant sample. This first report includes metrics provided voluntarily by nine MAAWG-member ISPs and network operators worldwide. Future reports will be expanded to include additional ISPs.

MAAWG is particularly suited to the task of measuring abusive email levels because it is the largest global trade association focusing on this problem. Its members include major ISPs and network operators worldwide with other associated industry vendors.

The complete report is available from the MAAWG Web site at http://www.MAAWG.org. It was finalized at the organization's 6th General Meeting in San Francisco, Feb. 28 through March 2. The meeting provided opportunities for members from some of the world's most active email services and vendors to coordinate their programs for controlling abusive email.

About the Messaging Anti-Abuse Working Group (MAAWG) The Messaging Anti-Abuse Working Group (MAAWG) is where the messaging industry comes together to work against spam, viruses, denial-of-service attacks and other online exploitation. MAAWG (http://www.MAAWG.org) is the only organization addressing messaging abuse holistically by systematically engaging all aspects of the problem, including technology, industry collaboration and public policy. It leverages the depth and experience of its global membership to tackle abuse on existing networks and new emerging services. Headquartered in San Francisco, Calif., MAAWG is an open forum driven by market needs and supported by major network operators and messaging providers.

Media Contact: Linda Marcus, APR, 714-974-6356, lmarcus@astra.cc, Astra Communications

MAAWG Sponsors (Board of Directors): America Online; Bell Canada; BellSouth (NYSE: BLS); Charter Communications (Nasdaq: CHTR); Cingular Wireless (NYSE:, SBC); Cloudmark; Comcast (Nasdaq: CMCSA); Cox Communications (NYSE: COX); EarthLink (Nasdaq: ELNK); France Telecom; Goodmail Systems; Openwave Systems (Nasdaq: OPWV); Swisscom Fixnet, AG LTD; Verizon Communications; and Yahoo!

MAAWG Full Members: Bizanga LTD; Cablevision; Cisco Systems, Inc.; Internet Initiative Japan, (IIJ Nasdaq: IIJI); IronPort Systems; MX Logic; O2; Sprint; Sun Microsystems, Inc.; and Symantec

MAAWG Supporters: AcquireWeb, Inc.; Adknowledge, Inc.; Checkfree Corp.; CheetahMail, An Experian Co.; Cincinnati Bell; Constant Contact; Critical Path, Inc.; DoubleClick, Inc.; e-Dialog; eleven GmbH; Epsilon Interactive; ExactTarget, Inc.; Fortinet, Inc.; Habeas, Inc.; Mansell Group, Inc.; Message Level, LLC; Messagelabs; Nextel Communications; Omniti Computer Consulting, Inc.; Perftech, Inc.; Pivotal Veracity; Plala Networks Inc.; Return Path, Inc.; RPost; Sendmail; Singlefin; Skylist, Inc.; StrongMail Systems, Inc.; TDC; TDS Telecom; Trend Micro, Inc.; Uptilt, Inc.; Verisign Inc.; Word To The Wise; and Yesmail

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