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Spam Containing Viruses Spike Since Mid-September

Internet security company 'Symantec' states in its "State of Spam Report" for October 2009 that September 2009 saw a spike in spam levels carrying malware-laced attachments and they (spam levels) continue to be high since then.

Dylan Morss, Senior Manager of anti-spam Engineering, Symantec, said - there was definitely a consistent rise in spam containing virus attachments, as reported by SCMagazineUS on October 7, 2009.

Morss said that normally the volume of spam containing harmful attachments represented around 0.5% of total spam, while there were sometimes brief spikes at intervals of 2-3 months. According to him, since the middle of September, there had been malicious attachments within about 1.3% of total spam.

Furthermore, the total amount of spam was at a mean of around 86% of total electronic mails during September 2009, accounting for a 4% drop from July 2009. Nevertheless, it was significantly higher than September 2008 when the amount of spam had been at a mean of 78% of total e-mail.

During September, spam volumes carrying malicious programs rose significantly, peaking at 4.5% of overall spam. Drawing a comparison with August 2009, Symantec reports that in September 2009 spam-borne malware increased nine-folds.

In different categories of spam, the chief ones included Internet spam that rose 3% during September and averaged at 32% of total junk e-mails; and finance related spam that declined 3% to contribute 17% of total junk.

The October 2009 spam report also underscores the trends since Symantec noted a 5% decline in phishing attacks since August 2009.

25% of all fraudulent phishing websites were created by using phishing toolkits, accounting for a 21% drop from August 2009. Furthermore, non-English phishing websites also declined 33% from the preceding month.

Besides, Symantec reports that over 110 hosting companies were used for 11% of the total online phishing assaults. While the percentage was same as that of August, the overall Web-hosted URLs dropped 3% during September.

Finally, Symantec reveals a rise in phishing attacks that spoofed the Internal Revenue Service.

Related article: Spam Scam Bags a Scottish Connection

» SPAMfighter News - 10/27/2009

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