Global spam falls to 5 year low

2013-01-24 12:00
Global spam flow is monitored from Kaspersky Lab headquarters in Moscow. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

Global spam flow is monitored from Kaspersky Lab headquarters in Moscow. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Cape Town - Global spam traffic has fallen significantly, according to research by a security company.

Unsolicited e-mail fell to a five-year low in 2012, Kaspersky Lab research found.

"The average for the year stood at 72.1% - 8.2 percentage points less than in 2011. Such a prolonged and substantial decrease in spam levels is unprecedented," Kaspersky said.

The company put the drop down to companies moving toward more effective and legal methods of advertising.

"This drop is the result of a gradual departure of advertisers from spam to other, more convenient and legal means of promoting goods and services," said Darya Gudkova, head of Content Analysis & Research at Kaspersky Lab.

Malicious attachments

Many users also employ spam filters that are getting better at removing undesirable mail that might have malicious attachments or links to harmful websites.

Spammers constantly try to evade protections by changing the word order or using punctuation that might slip through spam detectors.

Despite the drop in overall spam, Kaspersky found that unsolicited mail with malicious attachments remained relatively constant, declining only 3.4%.

The company cautioned against complacency, saying that criminals were as determined to steal user information for financial gain.

"However, that doesn't mean spam is headed the way of the dodo anytime soon: Malicious spam, fraud, and advertising of illegal goods cannot simply or easily migrate to legal platforms, due to their own inherently criminal nature. We expect that the decline in spam volumes in 2013 will be negligible at best," said Gudkova.

Spammers commonly use tactics such as fake personal e-mail with attachments designed to trick users into clicking on a link that downloads malicious programs to a local drive. This enables them to take command of a computer or steal personal information.


"In 2012, they [spammers] expanded their repertoire to include fake messages from a variety of airlines, hotel reservation services, and coupon services," Kaspersky said.

The statistics show that Asia was the leading region for spam distribution, rising from 11.2% in 2011 to 50% in 2012.

China has become a sudden and major source of spam, accounting for 19.5% of the global total, followed by the US at 15.6%.

According to Kaspersky, China wasn't in the top 20 sources of spam in 2011.

- Follow Duncan on Twitter
Read more on:    kaspersky lab  |  cybercrime  |  internet

Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Inside News24


17 photo illusions that look so real

What if they aren’t illusions? What if that dog really has a human foot – then what?


For chic geeks...

It’s THIS easy for someone to steal your ATM pin!
Check out the speed of this robo-cheetah!
New GIF keyboard on iOS for added fun!
Puppy goes crazy over iPad game

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now! - shop online today

Pre-order your iPhone 6 at

Hurry and pre-order your own iPhone 6 now at SA’s favourite online store!

Bargain box – 60% off

Reduced prices, very limited stock. While stocks last. Hurry and shop now!

Mind blow low prices on electronics

Get either the Prestigio multiphone or Proline tablet 7” tablet for only R699. Offers valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off Barbie toys

Save 30% on all Barbie toys and accessories. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Baby extravanganza month at

Celebrate baby month with a wide range of awesome baby products. Offers valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25


There is a tendency to fight against the current today but this will just use up a lot of energy and not get you very far. more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.