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Spam Got Doubled to Create Havoc in 2007

According to Marshal's Threat Research and Content Engineering (TRACE) Biannual Report for 2007, spam volumes doubled in the last six months of 2007 from the earlier six months of the year.

Commenting on malware, spam, and botnets, Bradley Anstis, Vice President of Products at Marshal, said that although law enforcement bodies have increased their efforts to crack down on botnets and their owners, problem of distribution of spam and malware worsened in 2007, as reported by PR.com on February 21, 2008.

Marshal's report indicates that health spam, which promotes medication like weight loss drugs, was the most frequent category of spam in 2007, accounting for almost 70% of total spam. However, it also says that penny stock spam dropped to 1% of total spam in the last six months of 2007 while it comprised 50% of all spam in February 2007.

The TRACE team at Marshal further reported that during November-December 2007, a new botnet surpassed the much known Storm botnet in distributing the single largest amount of spam worldwide. The report also says that the 'Mega-D' botnet that abundantly advertises male sexual enhancement drugs comprised 32% of total spam during the two months.

According to Anstis, over the year 2007, spam mails from Mega-D increased to a significant amount exceeding previous records of spam spreading without catching the attention of media.

Marshal's report also mentions how the difference between malware and spam increasingly faded as the botnets looking for increasing their network by using spam mail to advertise the existence of malicious code on Websites.

According to the Marshal's TRACE team, there was another kind of spam called the 'celebrity spam' profoundly circulating during the last six months of 2007 and comprised 20% of total spam. Security experts say that the offensive Russian Business Network (RBN) hosted e-mails that contained fake Google search links to Paris Hilton and Britney Spears but actually directing users to harmful programs.

Anstis further said that equipments and services require for launching spam are decreasing. For these reasons, it is expected to recede in 2008 as cyber criminals' financial motives to sustain it continue to stay strong, as reported by PR on February 21, 2008.

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