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MessageLabs Reports SPAM Increase During May 2008
By: MarkJ - 04 June, 2008 (9:04 AM)

Internet security firm MessageLabs has reported that SPAM (junk email) is back on the increase with global levels reaching 76.8% (71.3% in the UK) of all emails in May 2008, heights not experienced since early 2007:

Web Security: Analysis of Web security activity shows 30.5 percent of all web-based malware intercepted was new in May, a decrease of 5.8 percent since April. MessageLabs also identified an average of 1,311 new websites per day harboring malware and other potentially unwanted programs such as spyware and adware, an increase of approximately 100 per day compared with the previous month.

Spam: In May 2008, the global ratio of spam in email traffic from new and previously unknown bad sources, was 76.8 percent (1 in 1.30 emails), an increase of 3.3 percent on the previous month.

Viruses: The global ratio of email-borne viruses in email traffic from new and previously unknown bad sources, was 1 in 170.1 emails (0.59 percent) in May, an increase of 0.13 percent since the previous month.

Phishing: May saw a decrease of 0.11 percent in the proportion of phishing attacks compared with the previous month. One in 265.6 (0.38 percent) emails comprised some form of phishing attack. When judged as a proportion of all email-borne threats such as viruses and Trojans, the number of phishing emails rose by 23.4 percent to 64 percent of all email-borne malware threats intercepted in May.

The rise in spam is reportedly due to the change of tactics adopted by the spammers, moving further away from reliance on new and undetectable email attachments and moving toward the exploitation of free, mainstream hosted services such as Google Docs, Calendar and Microsoft SkyDrive.

Spam levels increased across almost every region. In the US, levels reached 73.4% in May, 77.7% in Canada and 71.3% in the UK. Germany’s spam rate reached 72.8% and the 74.3% in the Netherlands. Spam levels in Australia were 68.2%, 77.8% in China and 74.2% in Japan. Rival firms tend to report different figures, often diverging by as much as +/-20%.


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