Spam down in May says Kaspersky

The proportion of spam in email traffic fell 1.3 percent from April to May says Kaspersky.

The proportion of spam in email traffic fell 1.3 percent from April to May, and is now averaging 69.8 percent, according to the Kaspersky May report on spam. While spam as a proportion of email was lower for the whole of 2013, at 69.6 percent, this figure was 2.5 percent down on 2012, suggesting there are still seasonal variations within a slight overall downward trend as a proportion of traffic.

Main culprits in May have been schools and colleges offering the opportunity to buy diplomas or distance learning. There has also been a significant amount of holiday spam offering discounts such as Mother's Day gifts, ‘special' gardening offers and even advertisements for burial insurance.

According to Tatyana Scherbakova, senior spam analyst at Kaspersky Lab: “Spammers are constantly thinking up new tricks or turning to old favourites to catch out victims. The attachments in these emails contained malware from the Andromeda family, consisting of backdoors that allow attackers to silently control infected computers, which often become part of a botnet.' Scherbakova advises: “If you don't want to worry about these sorts of things, we recommend installing an Internet Security class protection solution.'

The UK is a high flyer in the email antivirus detection rates this month with 13.5 percent, followed by the US with 9.9 percent and Germany coming third with 8.2 percent. Organisations most targeted by phishers are email search sites (32.2 percent), social networking sites (23.9 percent), financial payment organisations (12.8 percent) and online stores (12.1 percent).  

Attackers have also sent out spam allegedly on behalf of iTunes, where victims are informed of their supposed purchase of applications – even the name and price of the product are stated, increasing authenticity. Similarly, emails on behalf of energy company E.ON were sent out reading: ‘This email is to bring to your notice that we were unable to process your last payment. See details in the attachment.' The attachment contained a Trojan designed for theft of personal data, mostly to acquire banking information.

This month the most popular malware spread through email scam was Trojan-Spy.HTML.Fraud.gen, which materialises as an HTML phishing website and then sends emails as important notifications from banks, online stores and other services. Malware members from the Bublik family fell from eight in April to five in May.

An expected rise in tourist and holiday spam is forecast with the arrival of summer.