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Christmas Spam Most For Aussies

This Christmas season, hucksters and hackers are joining their efforts to stuff e-mail inboxes with solicitations: some tedious, some offensive, some destructive - all of which are junk mails. The festive season is crowded with global spam where China and South Korea lead in spewing out voluminous phishing e-mails.

As per the estimates of 'Threat Research and Content Engineering' (TRACE) group of e-mail security firm Marshal, phishing e-mails in particular rose from 0.4 percent of all spam uncovered in November to 2.2 percent of total global spam. This was triple the volume of phishing e-mails during the second quarter of 2006.

Country wise, phishing attacks have been most in Australia. The popular targets are 'National Australia Bank' and 'Bendigo Bank'. The 'Spam Volume Index' launched in December 2006 found a frenzy of Christmas related global spam, accounting for 10.9 percent of all spam.
Scammers and spammers are swindling up their activities vigorously because they know there are a large number of consumers shopping online, seeking gift ideas and receiving e-cards, said Anstis, Director of product management for Marshal. He added that , people are therefore likely to open such e-mails.

Sophos released a report in November 2006, which said 75 percent of all current phishing e-mails were targeted on users of 'eBay' and 'PayPal'. The 'Australian Payments Clearing Association' (APCA) estimated that over 250,000 fraudulent transactions occurred in 2005-06, amounting to $142.6 million. spammers no longer use simple tools like "spambots", which wriggle through the Web to harness e-mail addresses. They are now specializing in hacking techniques using viruses and worms to compromise computers.

The next-generation worm of 'SoBig' is a much-feared threat, which captures unprotected PCs with an open Internet connection. The worm virtually makes these machines potential spam producers that release unsolicited e-mails in loads. According to Rob Forsyth, managing director of Sophos Asia Pacific region, those who want to keep away from 'retail store queues' this vacation need to be watchful and alert of risks involved in online marketing. He said that cyber criminals wouldn't be taking holidays this season; instead, they will be hanging around to grip any computer whose user becomes careless.

Related article: Christmas Theme Based Exploitation Kit Detected

» SPAMfighter News - 12/8/2006

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