The amount of spam relating to Valentine's Day has risen from two to three per cent of all spam to nine per cent this week alone.
MessageLabs claims that 6.5 per cent of the spam sent has originated from the Cutwail botnet, with one to two per cent of spam sent from the Xarvester botnet. The company claimed that the most active botnet Mega-D, has not been involved in sending St. Valentine's related spam so far.
Paul Wood, MessageLabs intelligence analyst at Symantec, said: “With one in every fifteen spam emails being a Valentine's message from Cutwail, this botnet loves this romantic time of year. Dedicating approximately ninety per cent of its output to Valentine-related spam, Cutwail is generating an estimated seven billion spam emails each day. This is possibly the largest volume of Valentine's Day spam ever seen.”
Cutwail's spam campaign consists of very simple email messages with either Valentine-related subject lines such as ‘St. Valentine's Bonus' or ‘Make this Valentine's Day the most memorable ever'. Alternatively messages in the body of a message that contain a link to a .cn website touting male enhancement products have also been seen.
In 2008, Valentine's spam originated from the infamous Storm botnet and accounted for only two per cent of daily spam levels. Comparable to this year's approach, Storm Valentines spam pointed to websites for VPXL, a herbal enlargement formula.