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Spam Jumped by More than 50% Last Year, Health Spam Topped

Marshal, the Internet security providing company, released its latest report on Threat Research and Content Engineering (TRACE), called "Marshal Security Threats: Spam, Phishing, Malware", in which it found that the amount of spam surged by over 50%.

The report by Marshal also threw light on the evolution of new and different botnets, which surpassed the most notorious botnet Storm - the origin of global spamming. It also showed that during November and December last year witnessed around 32% of total spam promoting sexual enhancement pills for males on the net and launched by botnet Mega-D.

The report further explained that spammers are now challenging upgraded anti-spam techniques by improving botnets and just by sending 'ordinary' spam messages in bulk. The spammers also gained an edge by improving the quality of botnets. In 2007, short-lived but new formats were explored by the spammers, including PDF, MP3 file attachments, and Excel.

Bradley Anstis, Vice-President of Products, Marshal, commented in his statement that though a lot of efforts have been put by the law enforcement groups to control spam by cleaning up spammers and botnet but all went in vain and the condition grew worst last year, as reported by Earthtimes on February 11, 2008.

The report further revealed that around 70% of the spam messages received last year were belonged to health spam class, promoting pharma drugs like pills to reduce weight and drugs to enhance performance. It also revealed that the category of spam, which witnessed a severe downfall, was of spam relating to stocks and options. This category accounted for nearly 50% of spam traffic in February 2007 but reduced to mere 1% by the end of the year. As explained, the decline was a result of excessive publicity of stock spam or the controlling measures adopted by the law enforcement authorities and security commissions.

The report also showed that the spam messages containing images fell down by 5% as spammers sent only HTML and plain text formats in the latter half of 2007 (from July to December). Apart from that, banking customers were the prime targets of phishing attacks, accounting for 0.5% of total spam during that period.

Related article: Spam Scam Bags a Scottish Connection

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