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Spam Rates Declined, but Phishing on a Surge: Symantec

As per Symantec's latest (June 2011) "State of Spam & phishing Report", due to the successful botnet shutdowns, the volume of spam circulating on the Internet has significantly declined, propelling down the overall percentage of redundant e-mail messages to depths unnoticed since 2006. The report however highlighted the fact, phishing, is on a surge.

Spam amount declined 10% from April - May 2011. As per Symantec, during May 2010 - May 2011, spam rates plunged 70.65%. Those percentages seem a bit less remarkable, however, when one regards that spam still constituted 72.14% of the entire e-mail messages during May 2011. Still, in comparison to spam rates of over 90% witnessed continually during the last three years, it's an elevating trend.

According to Symantec's latest report, spam messages advertising pharmaceutical products have been probably the most usually witnessed spam attacks during the last so many years. Pharmaceutical products are deceivingly promoted via spam e-mails making use of a wide range of obfuscation techniques. Symantec witnessed a surge in pharmacy spam exploiting famous online video sharing website, the report highlighted.

Disturbingly, as per the report, the overall phishing scenario augmented by 6.67% during April - May (2011). phishing websites developed by automated toolkits augmented by 24.82%. Unique URLs surged a bit by 0.26%. phishing websites with IP domains rose by 14.93%. Webhosting services accounted for 9% of all phishing attacks, a decline of 17.66% from April 2011.

The number of non-English phishing websites experienced a surge of 17.73%. The report further stated that, among the non-English phishing websites, French, Portuguese, Italian, and Spanish were the highest during May 2011.

Unfortunately, according to the report, phishers are still initiating phishing attacks in the form of false donations against those who were recently victimized by the enormous earthquake of the magnitude 9.0 in Japan.

Besides, conclusively, the report stated that, the US is the foremost leader in developing spam and phishing baits, and harboring phishing websites. 29% of spam experienced during May 2011 was created in the United States and 44% of phishing baits, were spawned in the United States in May (2011).

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