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MessagesLabs – Spam E-mails Declined, Phishing & Malware Surged

As per the MessageLabs Intelligence Report for the third quarter of 2008 and September 2008, the ratio of global spam e-mails originating from new and old unknown sources reached 70.1% (1 in every 1.43 e-mails), down 8.1% from the previous month (August 2008).

Mark Sunner, Chief Security Analyst at MessageLabs, said that addresses available on Intercage network were used by cyber criminals to host and control channels for botnets. Spam e-mail traffic severely disrupted at the end of September 2008 due to interference in functioning of botnets. But the slowdown in spam activities would not last for long as spammers generally exploit the holiday season by increasing their activities, as reported by MarketWatch on October 6, 2008.

Moreover, the analysis of Web security activity reveals that nearly 45.9% of the intercepted Web-based malware in September 2008 were new, according to the report. MessageLabs further stated that around 3,660 new Websites on an average every day hosting malware and other unsolicited programs, including spyware and adware, jumped 22.8% over August 2008.

In addition, the proportion of phishing attacks in September surged by 0.16% over the preceding month, with one in every 288.1 (0.35%) e-mails involved in some kind of phishing attack.

However, if the proportion of e-mail borne threats that include viruses and trojans is compared, then the volume of phishing e-mails plunged 29% to 45.7% of the overall e-mail borne threats detected in September 2008. In third quarter of 2008, phishing level dropped to the lowest level from second quarter of 2008, with a sharp fall since the beginning of the current year.

According to the report, Hong Kong was the most spammed country in September 2008, with spam level rising by 13.2% to 79.6% of all the e-mail. On the contrary, many countries experienced drop in spam level; for instance - spam level in Oman plunged by 16.7%, the highest fall in the month.

Moreover, the spam level in other countries surged in September 2008; in the UK, it reached 66% and in Canada and the US, 68.4% and 72.4% respectively. In Germany, the spam level climbed to 65.4% and in the Netherlands to 66.1%.

Related article: Microsoft Patches Live OneCare to Tackle Quarantined E-Mails

» SPAMfighter News - 10/10/2008

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