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World Cup Continues to Push Global Spam Volume

In its June 2010 MessageLabs Intelligence Report, security firm Symantec disclosed that the amount of spam related to the keywords of soccer and football since March 2010 has reached 25% of overall spam as the FIFA World Cup tournament progresses. FIFA World Cup is the most fascinating world event that is being exploited largely at present.

Paul Wood, Senior Analyst, MessageLabs Intelligence, explained that spammers are currently taking advantage of the thrill and excitement surrounding a glorious event like the FIFA World Cup, as per the news published by Market Watch on June 22, 2010.

Usually, important holidays like Christmas, St. Valentine's Day, Halloween and Thanksgiving get enormous attention from online scammers. Similarly, newsworthy events like natural disasters, celebrity deaths and major sporting activities are also famous themes and FIFA is no less an exception.

On June 2, 2010, MessageLabs Intelligence detected a run of 45 targeted malicious e-mails related to FIFA and aimed towards managers and executives of Brazilian firms which includes finance, chemical and manufacturing sectors.

These attacks depend on social engineering techniques and the excitement for World Cup to hack companies' systems and gain access to corporate data through the recipients.

Although spammers usually send the same spam mail again and again, they just mention the recent news headlines in the subject line or somewhere in between the message to capture the attention of the recipient. Also, this increases the chance of their mail being read.

In an interesting revelation, it was known that although there was continuous rise in World Cup spam, the firm discovered that the global spam level was 89.3% (1 in 1.12 emails) in June 2010, which reduced by 0.9% over May 2010.

In addition to this, the report also informed that during June 2010, the most frequently spammed industry with 94.1% spam rate was the Engineering sector. Spam rate for the Education sector was 89.9%, for the Chemical & Pharmaceutical sector 89.6% and for IT Services 89.7%, for Retail 89.8%, for Public Sector 87.7%, and for Finance 87.6%.

Among several countries, Hungary was said to be the most spammed country with 94% of total mail being spam. Further, UK reported 88% of mail as spam.

Related article: World Find New Weapons of Mass Destruction - eWMD

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