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Symantec Makes Major Discoveries in January 2010 State of Spam Report

Symantec's January 2010 State of Spam Report was published in the second week of January 2010. A detailed inspection of spam methods in Asia-Pacific in December 2009 disclosed that health and product spam groups have surged, now accounting for 52% of total spam volume.

The report shows that retail and seasonal spam laden with malware persisted during December 2009, and there were several spam e-mails claiming as holiday greeting cards from financial institutes.

Several "freeweb" services have been exploited by spammers to evade filters, emphasized Symantec. Some have even used URL shortening services so as to conceal the actual destination URL whereas some others have exploited various social networking websites/tools by developing a fake profile, which in fact is a spam campaign.

It is noted that Symantec has been keeping a close watch on spam that apparently came from Amazon in December 2009.

In December 2009, the ten leading subject lines that were used by spammers were conquered by a blend of Nigerian spam and pharmacy spam. The spam included phrases like - Please Read, urgent, Replica Watches, Kelly has sent you a message, Personal 71% off, etc.

Another underlining fact of the December 2009 report is the change in the region of origin of spam message and change in average size of spam e-mails. In past few months, Asia-Pacific and Japan (APJ) along with South America has been continuously increasing their share in spam generation as compared to the traditional leaders (EMEA and North America). However, both these areas (EMEA and North merica) together sent 57% of spam e-mails in December 2009 against 50% in November 2009.

The recent edition of Symantec's report also claimed that Symantec researchers are watching an unexceptionally huge rise in the amount of spam carrying compromised Internet Protocols (IP). This kind of spam is called "Dotted Quad" spam.

Apart from this, analysis of spam containing hijacked IPs suggested that one particular attack was accountable for this change in volume. Spam e-mails with hijacked IPs grew more than three times in December 2009 in compared with the amount in November 2009. Symantec foresees that this kind of spam will persist in coming times.

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

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