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Commtouch Reports February Spam Trends: The EU is Taking Over
[March 02, 2005]

Commtouch Reports February Spam Trends: The EU is Taking Over


MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. --(Business Wire)-- March 2, 2005 -- Commtouch (Nasdaq:CTCHC)

-- Significant 6-month increase in European spam -- particularly from France, Spain, Germany, UK

-- Europe has become a greater source of spam than the United States

-- Spammers try to tranquilize us: anti-anxiety drugs are the most popular spam content

Commtouch(R) (Nasdaq:CTCHC), a leading provider of real-time email security solutions, today announced that Europe has become the greatest source of spam. The announcement was based on data from the Commtouch Spam Detection Center, which analyzed hundreds of millions of spam messages in the month of February 2005.

During the past six months, there has been a marked rise in spam outbreaks originating from Europe, particularly form western European countries such as Germany, France, the UK and Spain. With spam levels in the United States holding steady, this results in an overall rise in global spam levels: On an average February day, 967,437 separate outbreaks have been distributed (up 94% from parallel month last year).

"These trends contradict prevalent assumptions: that spam is primarily sent from developing areas," says Commtouch Director of Product Marketing Oren Drori. "In fact, Commtouch analysis shows that the wealthy countries of Western Europe are the source of more spam than developing eastern European counterparts. The same trend can also be seen in the Asia Pacific region: richer countries simply spam more."


The leading free-mail providers continue to be the domains that are most commonly used by spammers: yahoo.com (8.58%), hotmail.com (4.33%) and msn.com (3.41%).

Western Europe Takes the Lead

In the month of February, the Commtouch Lab detected that spam was sent from 172 countries. Europe accounted for 24.70% of total spam, the bulk of it (21.85%) from European Union countries. Japan and Korea followed closely, which were together the source of 24.24% of spam. Only 22.80% of spam originated in the United States. -0- *T The Source of Spam: How the EU Won the World Europe (1) 24.70% (1) European Union countries: 21.85%; Top spam-distributors: France, Spain, Germany, UK Japan-Korea 24.24% US 22.80% Greater China (2) 14.45% (2) Including: China, Taiwan, Hong-Kong South America 6.03% ---------------------------- Rest of World 7.78% The Source of Spam: Breakdown by Country 1 United States 22.81% 2 South Korea 21.76% 3 China 12.54% 4 France 4.42% 5 Spain 3.28% 6 Brazil 3.04% 7 Germany 2.84% 8 United Kingdom 2.70% 9 Japan 2.48% 10 Canada 2.20% 11 Poland 2.19% ------------------------------------------- Others 19.74% The Content of Spam: tranquilizers rule A full 35.50% of February spam fell into the pharmaceutical category, with tranquilizers, anti-anxiety drugs and anorexics gaining popularity. "Judging from February trends, one might conclude that the world is getting more anxious, and that what sells best over the net are cut-rate prescription drugs," notes Drori. "A few months ago you could be sure that Viagra would capture the lion's share of this segment, but today it comes in second after the tranquilizer/anti-anxiety category (e.g., Valium, Xanax and Ativan)." Top 10 Spam Categories by Subject: 1 Drugs 35.50% -------------------------------------- 2 Shopping 12.33% -------------------------------------- 3 Software Sales 9.46% -------------------------------------- 4 Pornography 8.92% -------------------------------------- 5 Mortgage/Refinance 7.38% -------------------------------------- 6 Financial 7.13% -------------------------------------- 7 Enlargement 5.04% -------------------------------------- 8 Work from Home/ Jobs 1.38% -------------------------------------- 9 University Degree 1.04% -------------------------------------- 10 LookGood/Health 1.04% -------------------------------------- China: The Unchallenged Leader in Spam Hosting Spam hosting sites elaborate the marketing points of the original spam message, and facilitate the actual sale. In the month of February, Commtouch Lab registered that 68.05% of spam hosting sites were located in China. With 16.45% of spam sites hosted in Hong Kong, Greater China holds the dubious honor of being the unchallenged global leader in spam hosting. Top 5 spam-hosting countries: 1 China 68.05% 2 Hong Kong 16.45% 3 Russian Federation 9.70% 4 United States 3.64% 5 Brazil 0.97% ------------------------------------------- Others 1.20% *T

About Commtouch

Commtouch Software Ltd. (Nasdaq:CTCHC) is dedicated to protecting and preserving the integrity of the world's most important communications tool -- email. A global developer and provider of proprietary anti-spam solutions, Commtouch has an installed base of over 25 million users. The company's core technologies, including RPD(TM) - Recurrent Pattern Detection, reflect Commtouch's 14 years of experience developing messaging software. Commtouch solutions are incorporated into OEM applications and are also sold through channels and resellers. Commtouch is headquartered in Netanya, Israel and has a subsidiary in Mountain View, CA. For more information, see: www.commtouch.com.

This press release contains forward-looking statements, including projections about our business, within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. For example, statements in the future tense, and statements including words such as "expect," "plan," "estimate," anticipate," or "believe" are forward-looking statements. These statements are based on information available to us at the time of the release; we assume no obligation to update any of them. The statements in this release are not guarantees of future performance and actual results could differ materially from our current expectations as a result of numerous factors, including the failure to satisfy the conditions imposed by the Nasdaq Listing Qualifications Panel for the continued listing of Commtouch shares on The Nasdaq SmallCap Market; business conditions and growth or deterioration in the Internet market, commerce and the general economy, both domestic as well as international; fewer than expected new-partner relationships; competitive factors including pricing pressures; technological developments, and products offered by competitors; the ability of our OEM partners to successfully penetrate markets with products integrated with Commtouch technology; a slower than expected acceptance rate for real time AV solutions in general and the Commtouch virus detection engine in particular; availability of qualified staff for expansion; and technological difficulties and resource constraints encountered in developing new products, such as the Commtouch virus detection engine, as well as those risks described in the text of this press release or the company's Annual Reports on Form 20-F and reports on Form 6-K, which are available through www.sec.gov.

Recurrent Pattern Detection and RPD are trademarks and Commtouch is a registered trademark of Commtouch Software Ltd.

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