Over the last four months, MessageLabs Intelligence has detected a dramatic increase in the number of instances employers have intentionally blocked staff from accessing sports-related and gambling-related websites.
The number of sports category web pages blocked by Australian employers has increased from 18,000 blocks per day to nearly 50,000 blocks per day. While the number of gambling category web pages, most of which is sports-related gambling, has increased from 60,000 blocks per day to 80,000 blocks per day.
Andrew Gordon, Senior Manager, Enterprise and Partner Services, Symantec Hosted Services said, “Either clients are choosing to block sports and gambling sites more as a company policy, or employees are visiting these sites more frequently so companies are starting to block them so that productivity isn’t affected. MessageLabs Intelligence suspect it’s a bit of both.”
Sports-related spam is also expected to be on the increase with the Rugby Union Super 14 season in full swing, the NRL season kick off last week and the impending 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa.
MessageLabs Intelligence expects scammers to capitalise on the wave of excitement and expectation surrounding these events using advance fee fraud scams, also referred to as 419 scams, and spam mentioning sport-related topics to convince victims to part with their money.