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Symantec - E-mail Spam Showing a Rising Trend

Symantec's State of Spam Report for September 2009, highlighting the spam techniques used by hackers in Asia-Pacific, discovers that the overall volume of spam rose at a mean rate of 87% of the entire e-mail traffic during August 2009.

The report states that Internet connected spam was responsible for 29% of the entire spam, while health-related spam contributed 6.73% of the overall spam during August 2009.

According to the report, spam is on the rise as Christmas season gets closer. It is further expected that vacation related spam would increase since e-mail spammers would be capitalizing on the Christmas vacation and the preceding Halloween occasion.

Moreover, spammers (during August 2009) attempted to evade anti-spam filters using image spam through the expansion of the messages' size. During the month, 9.3% of all image spam was sized over 100KB on average and 14.4% were sized within 10KB-50KB on average.

Symantec noticed a rise in phishing attempts through the use of spam mails. Potential victims in the scam were enticed to visit a phishing site where vital user information was stolen.

The report states that e-commerce and financial brands remained the most targeted entities, drawing 29.3% and 19.7% of the assaults respectively.

Meanwhile, additional discoveries in the September 2009 report disclose that there was an 11% growth in phishing websites in August that did not use English language. There was a higher number of phishing attacks based on Chinese, Italian and French languages of which the French-language malicious sites remained the maximum.

Symantec states that while phishing attacks in general declined 45% from July 2009, merely 30% of phishing pages had been generated via phishing toolkits that represented a 74% decline since July.

Thus, the company suggests users to unsubscribe from authorized mailings, which they do not wish to receive any more and ensure that they report all spam. It further advised against posting e-mail addresses, online. Instead users must think about other options like creating a different e-mail ID for mailing inventories, using separate addresses for separate reasons, or examining disposable address facilities.

Related article: Sentence for American Contractor for Sabotaging Government Navy Computers

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