Report: Over 97% Of November Email Was Spam

Casino- and pharmaceutical-related spam remain at top, according to eleven

December 18, 2009

4 Min Read


Berlin, 17 December 2009 " Spam constituted 97.1% of total e-mail traffic in October and November 2009. This is one of the findings of the eleven E-mail Security Report for October and November 2009, which was presented today by eleven, Germany's leading e-mail security specialist. Spam traffic continued to be dominated by casino and pharmaceutical-related spam. The main source of spam is Brazil, followed by Vietnam and India.

An overview of the most important trends:

Spam constituted 97.1% of total e-mail traffic in October and November " "clean" e-mails constituted 1.9%, e-mail viruses just under 0.1%.

Casino and pharmaceutical spam lead the "hit list" of spam content.

More than one sixth of all spam e-mails originated from IP addresses in Brazil, followed by Vietnam and India.

Backdoor Trojans, which constantly load new malware onto infected systems, constituted 75% of all viruses.

E-mails spreading the Trojans are usually disguised as important messages. The content ranged from e-cards, delivery notifications and software updates to requests for the reactivation of accounts.

The results of the eleven E-Mail Security Report October/November 2009 in detail

Proportion of spam

On average spam constituted 97.1% of total e-mail traffic in October and November 2009. "Clean" e-mails constituted just 1.9%, requested bulk e-mails (such as newsletters) 0.7%, and e-mails containing viruses just under 0.1%.

Spam campaigns

As in previous months, the main subject of spam was casino and pharmaceutical-related. The top positions go to two casino spam campaigns which made up 8.3% and 6.3% respectively. Third place goes to the "Canadian Pharmacy" spam campaign with 5.4%. Behind the "Canadian Pharmacy" campaign were Russian spammers who attempted to entice potential victims with subject titles such as "Spice up the bedroom!" The eleven experts have seen a rising trend in pharmaceutical-related spam with extravagant subject titles such as "Britney Spears is dead" to disguise the completely unrelated content of the


There is a clear difference in the way casino-related spam and pharmaceutical-related spam spread. While "Canadian Pharmacy" appeared consistently throughout this particular time frame, casino-related spam would let up for periods of up to 10 days, but was spread in larger waves. Overall there were on average over 3,000 different campaigns on any given day.

Event spam

The rising trend of spreading spam and malware with reference to current events also continued throughout October and November. Halloween in particular lead to large-scale spam campaigns. The Thanksgiving weekend including "Black Friday" and "Cyber Monday", two highly popular shopping days in the U.S., were

also targeted as opportunities for waves of spam. Christmas spam began early this year " the first waves were seen as soon as the middle of November.

Countries of origin

Brazil has established itself as the largest source of spam by far. 16.7% of all spam in November 2009 originated from IP addresses in Brazil. Second place went to Vietnam with 8.1%, third to India with 5.4%, followed by Russia (5.3%) and South Korea (4.6%). German IP addresses were responsible for 3.4% of all spam (eighth place) " a decrease from 4.9% in October (fifth place).


Experts from eleven noted a trend in e-mail viruses of short (maximum 48 hours) but large-scale waves which were capable of causing a tenfold increase in the volume of viruses within a short period of time. The "virus hit parade" in October and November 2009 was headed by the Trojans DTR/Crypt.XPACK.Gen (32.2%) and DTR/Crypt.ZPACK.Gen (31.4%), making up two-thirds of the total volume of viruses. Both are variations of the Bredolab Trojan, which takes the form of a backdoor Trojan that is activated at every system start and constantly loads infected systems with new malware. In third place was DTR/Sasfis (12.58%), another backdoor Trojan which was spread through e-mails which, for example, falsely inform receivers that their mailboxes have been deactivated. The leading non-Trojan virus was again DWORM/NetSky.P, part of the NetSky family and well-known since 2006.

eleven E-Mail Security Report

Six times a year, the eleven E-Mail Security Report summarizes current spam and malware trends and numbers. The eleven Research Team analyzes the e-mails checked by the eleven Managed E-Mail Security Services, and interprets the results. eleven checks and categorizes over 1 billion e-mails every day. More than 30,000 businesses of all sizes use the eleven services.

eleven " e-mail security made in Germany

eleven is Germany's leading e-mail security provider. eXpurgate is the world's only spam filter and e-mail categorisation service that offers reliable protection against spam and phishing e-mails, recognises potentially dangerous e-mails and differentiates between individual e-mails and any kind of bulk e-mail. What's more, eXpurgate also offers a powerful e-mail firewall and a comprehensive range of options for protecting against viruses.

Alongside internet service providers such as T-Online, O2, Vodafone and freenet, eleven's client base includes many well-known companies and public institutions such as Air Berlin, the Association of German Banks, DATEV, the Free University of Berlin, Landesbank Berlin, Mazda, RTL, ThyssenKrupp and Tobit Software. Further information can be found at

Keep up with the latest cybersecurity threats, newly discovered vulnerabilities, data breach information, and emerging trends. Delivered daily or weekly right to your email inbox.

You May Also Like

More Insights