Language-specific spam begins to hit the web

Spammers are using translation services and templates to develop multiple versions of spam in various languages.

According to the July 2009 Intelligence Report from MessageLabs, some countries are experiencing levels of spam in excess of 95 per cent. It is contributing one technique, predominantly in non-English language countries, to the use of automated translation services and templates enabling spam runs to operate in multiple languages.

Local language spam now accounts for 46 per cent of spam in Germany and 53 per cent in France. In The Netherlands, 25 per cent of spam is in Dutch. In Japan 62.3 per cent is in non-English languages and in China this number is 54.7 per cent.

Paul Wood, MessageLabs Intelligence senior analyst, Symantec, said: “
Once again the spammers turn to their online toolbox, the internet, for their latest tactics. Translation services and templates enable the spammers to push out multiple-language spam attacks and some dubious translations through the use of poor online services highlight the use of these antics.

“Non-English spam now accounts for one in every 20 spam messages, a figure we'll be closely monitoring to see if spammers continue with their global expansion.”

The report also found that only 0.7 per cent of all web-based malware intercepted was new in July so far, compared with 58.8 per cent in June. However with the number of new websites harbouring malware and other potentially unwanted programs identified each day reaching a nine month high of 3,618, it indicates that previously used malware is being more widely distributed to other websites.

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