87% E-mail Traffic in 2009 Detected as Spam

According to Symantec's State of Spam and phishing report for December 2009, 87% of the total e-mail traffic during 2009 was comprised of junk mails or spam.

States the company, the level of spam reached the peak of 95% in May 2009 and represented the lowest mark of 74% just at the beginning of 2009, when only few months had passed since the closure of the U.S. Internet Service Provider McColo.

Moreover, in view of spam mails' average size, 71.08% of all the e-mails currently have an average size in the range of 2kb-5kb, while size of 19.53% of these e-mails lies between 5kb-10kb.

Also, in view of spam categories, fraud and leisure spam rose by 2% and 3% respectively, while the overall Internet spam, which declined by 4%, is now responsible for 35% of total spam e-mails.

Besides, during 2009, with the demise of celebrities like Natasha Richardson and Patrick Swayze, celebrity spam assaults kept on increasing. However, the maximum volume of celebrity spam assaults was seen after the death of Michael Jackson the artist who led the world of pop. States Symantec that the total amount of Jackson-related spam was responsible for slightly less than 2% of the total spam mails.

The EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) region is no longer the biggest spam originating region; the APJ (Asia Pacific and Japan) region has replaced its position . The latter one is now responsible for 26% of the total spam, increasing nine percentage points since June 2009.

Besides spam, Symantec also finds a trend for phishing. During November 2009, the company noticed that the Asia Pacific region experienced a 6% fall in phishing assaults in comparison to October 2009. Also, the phishing URLs developed using automated phishing toolkits totaled 25%, falling 24% since October 2009.

Symantec has also predicted that spammers would be rife in 2010, when there will be a greater role played by botnets in distributing junk e-mails. The company also indicated that spammers will keep on using techniques like URL shortening, using the services like bit.ly as well as free Internet hosting services. The purpose would be to elude anti-spam filters detecting junk e-mails.

Related article: “Loopholes did not cause online banking thefts”: ICBC

» SPAMfighter News - 24-12-2009

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