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Spam Levels Went Down During Q1-2011, Reports McAfee

In its most recently quarterly report for the first quarter (January to March) 2011, McAfee reveals that spam volumes that dipped to the bottom since 2007 during the recent quarters, once again declined drastically to nearly 50% of the volume of just one year back at about 1.5trl e-mails daily, surpassing genuine e-mail messages at the ratio 3:1.

The fall was primarily because of the Rustock botnet's dismantling during 2011 beginning that led to prominent zombie i.e. compromised PCs as well as command structures being shutdown.

Reports McAfee that junk e-mails touting real or fake items represented the most widely employed bait across the majority of countries during Q1-2011. South Korea and Russia experienced drug spam in the maximum volume, while China and Australia mostly experienced phony delivery status notices in their spam operations. There was also a fresh style from banking trojans during the period, wherein the trojans stole passwords as well as other details through the utilization of well-known entices within the related spam onslaughts like USPS, FedEx, UPS, and the IRS.

Furthermore, the McAfee report as well talks about phishing websites of Q1-2011. According to it, following a drastic rise in H1 (January to June) 2010 and then becoming stable since H2 (July to December) 2010, the total number of spoofed websites during Q1-2011 was about 2,500 daily, with dual huge jumps during January 2011 end. Most of the baits employed in that month included Caisse d'Epargne, a French banking chain, PayPal and Wells Fargo.

The quarterly report next discusses botnets stating that there are various purposes for which such malicious networks can be utilized such as relaying spam messages, launching denial of services (DOS) assaults, disseminating malware, and executing click fraud schemes.

Taking DOS assaults for example, the company found that the cost of such assaults was $1 for a 10 min-duration of attack, but it rose to a maximum of $50 for a 24 hour-duration.

Finally, the most recent quarterly report states a favorable situation that is, security research teams and agencies of law enforcement through their increased efforts have been able to mitigate cyber-crime.

Related article: Spam Scam Bags a Scottish Connection

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