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Global State of Spam Points to Increased Use of Text

According to BitDefender, a specialist in data security, the stock spam campaign that was previously so prolific, declined from 25% to just 2% during January-June 2008. Similarly, a rapid decline was also observed in the formerly massive image spam during the same months.

According to Head of BitDefender anti-spam Research Lab, Vlad Valceanu, phishers and spammers are constantly improving in forging and replicating legitimate message formats. However, the ordinary text e-mails have also proved to be efficient, making the total number of victims of identity theft around 50,000 every month, as reported by on June 29, 2008.

BitDefender also reported a dramatic decline in the PDF attachment spam along with video and audio spam. Now such attachment spam account for around 10% of all e-mail threats.

Under these circumstances, the good old-styled text spam is rising. During January-June 2007, BitDefender observed that textual spam was just 20% in volume, while in 2008 the figure has risen to 70%.

According to Andra Miloiu, Spam Analyst at BitDefender, plain text remains the most popular medium for distributing e-mail spam because it is simple with small size and extremely flexible, as reported by ITWire on June 29, 2008.

Indeed, there are some other reasons that make text spam appealing. These relate to its use of auto-generated scripts for scrambling words, synonymic substitution or rephrasing. Image spam, on the other hand, would normally use obfuscated content.

Moreover, the most widely used new spam mails in the US include mails that help to escape mortgage foreclosures, a straight cut attempt to capitalize on the US lending crisis. Another attack, even more direct, on American concerns relates to the spam scam, which offers apparent methods to convert water into liquid fuel.

Meanwhile, phishing trends are still showing a rise in targeted client and spoofed bank attacks. Primarily, the fabricated elements relate to the financial institutions in the US, while the potential victims are nowadays native English speakers who live in Canada, the US and the UK. BitDefender's Researchers also reported about attacks going on in Spain, France and Italy.

Related article: Global Financial Crisis Brings Catastrophe for Online Users

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