Spam and Phishing Report: Scammers Taking Advantage of Major Events - Slide 7

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  • Saudi Arabia became the most spammed geography in January; with a spam rate of 75.5 percent.
  • China was the second most-spammed with 75.0 percent of email traffic blocked as spam.
  • In the U.S., 69.0 percent of email was spam and 68.7 percent in Canada.
  • The spam level in the UK was 69.3 percent.
  • In The Netherlands, spam accounted for 70.7 percent of email traffic, 68.2 percent in Germany, 69.1 percent in Denmark and 68.6 percent in Australia.
  • In Hong Kong, 67.5 percent of email was blocked as spam and 66.7 percent in Singapore, compared with 65.6 percent in Japan.
  • Spam accounted for 69.5 percent of email traffic in South Africa and 73.1 percent in Brazil.

Symantec Corp. recently announced the findings of its January Symantec Intelligence Report, which shows that spammers are using holidays and major events to make their mail more appealing.

Symantec Intelligence has seen more than 10,000 unique domain names compromised with a redirect script written in PHP that contains a reference to the new year in the filename. These redirect scripts were hosted on compromised websites and links to these were included in spam emails, which were subsequently blocked by Symantec.cloud.

To further entice recipients to open their messages, spammers used additional social engineering techniques by including parameters in the URL to suggest that the destination is a social networking site.

Symantec Intelligence expects to see spammers taking advantage of other upcoming “calendar events,” such as Chinese New Year and Valentine's Day.

“We also expect to see plenty of spam and malware taking advantage of some of the major upcoming sporting events this year. We are already seeing references to the Summer Olympics in London as part of 419 or advance fee fraud messages,” said Paul Wood, senior intelligence analyst, Symantec.

“By relating their mails to widely-celebrated holidays and current events with global interest, spammers and malware authors can (at first glance at least) make their messages more interesting, and increase the chance of recipients visiting spam Web sites or becoming infected,” Wood said.

During December, global spam levels dropped, but in January gradually returned to similar levels as in November 2011, which is still lower than the 2011 average.

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Related Topics : Unisys, Stimulus Package, Security Breaches, Symantec, Electronic Surveillance

 
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