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Symantec – 90.4% of Total E-mails in May Spam

Security vendor Symantec released a report on May 25, 2009 that revealed spam represented 90.4% of total e-mails. The report also said that out of 1.1 e-mails, one was junk and their volume rose by 5.1% between April 2009 and May 2009.

According to Symantec's May 2009 MessageLabs Intelligence report, cyber criminals are increasingly focusing on popular and legitimate websites to host their malicious codes instead of hacking illegitimate websites. In fact, the study of blocked websites disclosed that 84.6% of them were more than one year old and social networking websites were more vulnerable to threats as most of them have users' generated content.

However, the e-mail-borne viruses in the total number of e-mails circulated globally from both new and older bad sources stood at 0.31%, equivalent to 1 in every 317.8 e-mails, down 0.01% from April 2009. In May, 7.0% of total e-mails had links to malicious websites, a decline of 6.3% from April 2009.

The volume of phishing e-mail shot up by 0.11% to one in 279.7 e-mails in May 2009 against the total number of phishing attacks in April 2009. Comparing the ratio of all e-mail borne threats such as trojans and viruses, the number of phishing e-mails stuck to its previous ratio at 89.7% of total e-mail borne phishing threats and malware identified in May 2009.

Symantec in its report further said that around 58% of spam e-mails were generated by botnets, with Donbot emerged as the worst spamming botnets contributing 18.2% of total spam.

Social networks continue to be profit generating tools for spammers encouraging them to extensively use them to attack victims. The popularity of social networks in the cyber world can be judged from the fact that criminals tried to hack Facebook and Twitter accounts in the past few weeks to steal users' personal details.

According to the report, spammers wage their attacks keeping the region in mind. For instance, the US citizens receive the highest number of spam between 9 a.m. and 10 a.m. which declines overnight. People in Europe are attacked throughout the day whereas the Asia-Pacific countries record maximum number of spam in the morning. The reason for such diversification is that most spammers remain busy during the US working hours.

Related article: Sentence for American Contractor for Sabotaging Government Navy Computers

» SPAMfighter News - 5/29/2009

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