* Internet attacks
GENEVA: About 50 per cent of all email messages in circulation by the end of the year could be unsolicited spam, which would cost as much as E17.2 billion ($28 billion) in wasted technical resources, a UN report warns.
Digital attacks over the internet are also rising.
The US was hit hardest in 2002 followed by Brazil and Britain, according to an annual study undertaken by the UN Conference on Trade and Development.
Internet security problems ``have acquired serious dimensions, and spam is now proliferating at an alarming rate,'' the E-Commerce and Development Report 2003 says.
Most spam victims are in North America, which generates about 58.4 per cent of the junk mail, the study finds.
It notes that a growing number of governments are developing anti-spam laws. UNCTAD says cyber attacks, such as the damaging Blaster worm virus that struck in August, undermined public confidence in the internet, particularly in developing countries.
Citing statistics compiled by mi2g, a digital risk manager, UNCTAD says more than 91,000 digital attacks occurred in the first half of this year, up from about 87,500 in all of 2002.