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Spam Levels Rise Consistently, Image Spam Drops

Fraud spam and scam grew to a level of 14% of the entire spam traffic reported in June 2007. The rise was 9% higher from March 2007. While the overall spam and scam levels remained consistent, image spam dropped, according to the July 2007 report, "State of Spam", by security software developer Symantec.

The overall levels of spam in June this year was at a steady rate of 65% of e-mail traffic. Also, the volume of spam mails containing images declined. Spam promoting health products also showed a declining trend. These messages fell to just 13% of total spam in June 2007 as compared to a drop of 10% same month previous year.

The "State of Spam" report says that 14.5% of the reported 180 Billion or more spam mails sent per day in June 2007 were image spam. This figure plunged from the highest level of 52% in January 2007 and 27% in April 2007.

Image spam is the common medium for 'pump-and-dump' scam. It uses a stupefying method displaying the text in a JPEG or GIF file carrying a harmless but catchy subject line. In early 2007, image spam accounted for an enormous percentage of unsolicited e-mails cluttering users' inboxes. Symantec has noted the way image spam reached a peak in January 2007 at 52% of total spam. Since then, it has been declining and in June 2007, it made its appearance in just 14.5% of total spam.

While the traditional type of image spam is declining, PDF style of image spam is rising. Offensive ads canvassing pornography, mortgages, or pharmaceutical drugs tend to be in more amount than other types of spam. However, companies can expect newer, sophisticated and more deceiving scams during the coming years, said Doug Bowers, senior director of Symantec's anti-spam engineering unit, as per news from Baselinemag on July 11, 2007.

Spammers are using more tricky e-mails to engage recipients into communicating with them to achieve the ultimate objective of extracting financial and other personal information. For instance, they try to give the stock spam a professional appearance of a newsletter instead of the standard plaintext invitation to buy shares.

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