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Considerable Increase in Phishing, Malware E-mails

According to "Eleven" an e-mail security company, harmful e-mails, during Q1-2012 (January-March 2012), increased, with 83.7% of malware-laced e-mails and 169.6% of phishing e-mails detected.

Also, with approximately 25% of spam mails touting false pharma products, pharmaceutical-based e-mail junk is still most widespread. "Eleven" further noticed an enormous increase in casino-based junk e-mails during Q1-2012 that currently contributes a fifth to the entire spam. Another extremely popular topic within spam outbreaks has been counterfeit luxury goods.

"Eleven" in addition found that spam rates continued to be somewhat at the 2011 year-end rates following a 90.2%-74.8% decline over the months of January-December 2011.

During January 2012, spam rates were at 75.1% that was up from 71.3% of February 2012 and 72.9% of March 2012. E-mails that weren't so malicious represented 18.2% of all e-mails during March 2012, while lawful mass e-mails like e-newsletters had a 6.6% share. However, e-mail-borne malware rose 0.8% along with phishing e-mails by 0.25% of the entire electronic mail traffic.

Researchers drew attention to Zeus Trojan's variants as well that were predominant during March 2012. Zeus also called Zbot is a well-known e-mail malware. The two most numbered e-mail outbreaks during March 2012 alone accounted for over 36.8% of the entire malware-laced e-mails. Still 27.4% of the entire e-mail traffic was related to MyDoom a PC-worm that first appeared during January 2004.

For region-wise circulation of spam, security researchers determined that Eastern Europe and Asia continued to be the main areas from where spam originated. During March 2012, among the top-ten spam distributing countries, India continued to lead with 11.7% while Russia and Brazil followed at 7.5% and 7.1% respectively.

Moreover, ever-since botnet Rustock's takedown during March 2011, USA also joined the ten most spam-distributing countries even as it had a high spam turnout for long. Essentially, during March 2011, USA ranked ninth with 3.3% of the total spam while Germany came on as 20th, spewing 1.4%.

Eventually, during February 2012, the aggregate amount of malicious programs increased to 252.8% followed with a mere 4.4% drop during March 2012 of the February's peak rate. In general, spam volume increased 83.7% from December 2011.

Related article: Constant Growth in Botnets Poses a Serious Threat, ENISA

» SPAMfighter News - 4/19/2012

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