Statistics released this week show that one in ten spam messages originated from the UK.
According to Trend Micro, the UK ranks top amongst western European countries for sending malicious spam, with a quarter of all scams detected created by cyber criminals in October. The most prevalent was commercial/advertising spam offering special incentives for quick and easy weight-loss products and programmes and ‘business opportunities' in classifieds adverts.
Work at home schemes, such as making arts and crafts or stuffing envelopes have been replaced by offers to ‘use your home PC to make fast money in your spare time'. Job-related spam came in third at ten per cent of all spam messages sent.
Rik Ferguson, senior security advisor at Trend Micro, said: “The research shows that despite media reports about the rise in other online threats, traditional spam techniques are still favoured by cyber criminals. Consumers continue to fall prey to these types of scams and that's why they continue to be popular. My advice would be, if it looks too good to be true, it probably is.”
Meanwhile, research by PandaLabs revealed that 40 per cent of all rogue anti-virus has been created this year. It said that ever since this type of malicious code was first reported four years ago, 5,651,786 unique rogueware strains have been detected, out of which 2,285,629 have appeared between January to October 2010.
A report said: “If we compare the number of rogueware specimens to the total number of malware strains included in our Collective Intelligence database, 11.6 per cent of all samples correspond to fake anti-virus. This is a staggering figure, especially if you consider that this database contains all malware detected in the company's 21-year history and rogueware only appeared four years ago.
“Rogueware's sophistication, realism and social engineering techniques are the basis of its success, as shown by the fact that more and more users are falling victim to this scam. So far this year, 46.8 per cent of all computers worldwide have become infected with some sort of malware, and 5.40 per cent have been affected by rogueware.”