Spam grows, targeted - survey shows

2013-08-13 11:10
Spam has increased slightly, research by a security firm has found. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

Spam has increased slightly, research by a security firm has found. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

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

Cape Town - Spam increased slightly in the last three months, but was more targeted as criminals upped the ante to steal personal information, research by a security firm has shown.

According to research by Kaspersky Lab, spam was up by 4.2% at 70.7% of data traffic, while phishing traffic remains relatively flat at a 0.0016% decline.

Kaspersky said that e-mails were addressed to corporate users and disguised as delivery failures, notifications or auto replies.

"Malicious users expect corporate employees to skim over the details, assume the e-mail is legitimate and open the attachment - releasing a malicious programme."

The survey found that spammers had resorted to old tricks to deliver malicious content.

Disguised messages

One of these includes an e-Card with malware targeting Hallmark. In the past this strategy proliferated around major holidays, but there was a significant uptick over the last three months.

In order to fool spam filters, some messages were disguised with white text which users generally would not notice as most use a white background for mail.

The top three spam sending countries make up more than half of all spam send worldwide with China at 23.1%, the US at 16.8% and South Korea at 12.6%.

Kaspersky said that attacks on social networks fell by 3.3%, while trending up on financial institutions at 1.2%.

Criminals have begun targeting corporate users for information that could be used to compromise a company's intellectual property, a report has found.

According to the Cisco 2013 Annual Security Report, the security risk is increased because fewer than 20% of corporate users abide by IT policies.

"Security risks rise in businesses are also on the rise because many employees adopt 'my way' work lifestyles in which their devices, work and online behaviour mix with their personal lives virtually anywhere - in the office, at home and everywhere in between," Cisco said.

There was also a change in the methodology employed by criminals to phish for personal data.

"More and more often these days, phishers are reluctant to rely solely on the human factor and are less willing to wait for users to enter their own data. Instead, malicious users are now sending out malicious e-mails seeded with Trojans that steal usernames and passwords, including for online banking accounts," said Kaspersky Lab.

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

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X 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
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Man scores date with tennis superstar after Twitter bet

It’s a modern day Cinderella story, but one American man took ‘shoot your shot’ seriously in 2017.


You won't want to miss...

Who are the highest paid models of 2017?
10 gorgeous plus-sized models who aren't Ashley Graham
5 top leg exercises for men
10 best dressed men of 2017
Traffic Alerts
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.