Google - Spam Volume Increase 53% in Q2 2009
Security researchers at Google inform that a new group of spam providers is set to rise. In its latest quarterly spam report, the company declares that spam amount in Q2 2009 increased by 6% as compared to Q2, 2008 and 56% from Q1 2009.
Further, Google states that new attackers have led to the emergence of both kinds and levels of spam. In Q2 2009, attackers started adopting old methods such as newsletter formats along with unsafe links, images and attachments.
The trend, which the researchers were able to recognize, was a shift in image spam. This method employs a fixed image file to display the spam mail in an attempt to dodge conventional spam filters that search through text.
It was believed that the hackers had stopped using this technique, but mow it has again emerged.
Another trend observed by the Google researchers is the use of malware attachments. The firm saw a jump in malware-laden attacks, especially those linked to botnets.
Moreover, the sites hosting spyware and malware increased by 67% to 1,919 between May and June 2009. In the meantime, out of seventy-eight links discovered in instant messages were associated with such sites. In 2008, this numeral was one out of two hundred.
There has been some reduction in spam amount because of the shutdown of ISPs hosting spam-related infrastructure. However, these reductions will speedily upturn as news spammers come to fill in the gap.
A member of Google's message security team, Amanda Kleha, says that after the closure of ISP that served hackers, 3FN or Pricewert, on June 4, 2009, spam amount decreased by 30%, as reported by informationweek on July 1, 2009.
Ms. Kleha says that this has also formed an entry gate for opportunistic hackers to grab a market opportunity. Since then, hackers have increased spam volume by 14% from levels seen following the 3FN conclusion.
June 2009 also witnessed the resurgence of payload viruses, also known as malicious mail attachments. Kleha considers this as an endeavor by spammers to expand their botnets.
Related article: Google Rectifies Gmail flaw in Three Days
» SPAMfighter News - 16-07-2009