February Figures Show Spammers Regaining Lost Ground

By Kaspersky Lab
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By Kaspersky Lab

3/23/2011 9:35:51 PM -

Kaspersky Lab releases their spam report for February 2011

Kaspersky Lab announces the publication of its spam report for February 2011. Compared to the previous month the amount of unsolicited mail traffic increased by 1.1 percentage points and averaged 78.7%. “Spammers are gradually regaining their position following the closure of major botnets in the second half of last year, and we foresee a return to spam levels of 81-82% by April-May 2011,” said Maria Namestnikova, Senior Spam Analyst at Kaspersky Lab.

Sources of spam
India remained the leading source of spam in February, accounting for 8.83% of all spam traffic – a drop of 1.02 percentage points compared to January. Almost half as much spam came from Russia – the second biggest source – compared to the previous month after a drop of 4.26 percentage points. Brazil rose to third place (+0.41 percentage points) and Indonesia moved up one place to fourth (-0.39 percentage points). Newcomer to the top five South Korea climbed six places to claim fifth place following a rise of 1.4 percentage points compared to the previous month. Italy, meanwhile, dropped to sixth place (-0.78 percentage points).

Revival of spam traffic from the USA
The USA may only have ended the month as the eighth biggest source of spam, but it should be noted that there is a gradual increase in the amount of spam traffic coming from the country. After the closure of the Pushdo/óutwail botnet in August 2010, the volume of spam emanating from the USA fell considerably with record-low levels at the end of last year (approximately 1-1.5% from October to December). In February, that figure reached its highest level in four months – 4.27% – and it looks like it will continue to rise over the next few months.

Malware in mail traffic
Malicious files were found in 3.18% of all emails in February, a rise of 0.43 percentage points compared with the previous month. Most of the malicious programs in February's rating can be split into two groups. The first group consists of mail worms whose primary function is to harvest email addresses to continue propagating. Some of these worms also install other malicious programs on infected systems. The second group of malware consists of programs designed to steal confidential information, primarily of a financial nature. February's rating also included a malicious program capable of disabling victim computers and demanding payment to restore access to them.

Anti-spam legislation
A joint document drafted by officials from China and the USA entitled 'Fighting Spam to Build Trust' is due to be published in March. “This is a major event in the sphere of anti-spam legislation,” explained Maria Namestnikova. “Spam is both an international and regional business, which means any measures to tackle it have to go beyond those of individual states. Hopefully, this initiative will encourage officials in other countries to follow suit.” The full version of the spam report for February 2011 is available at: www.securelist.com

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