More trends in August and September 2012:
- Following strong growth in June and July, spam levels reduced somewhat in August and September: although levels remained at July's high level in August (-1.4%), those levels declined by 36.5% in September. There was an absence of several major spam waves, especially in the second half of September, and which were responsible for the drop (see graphic). Despite the decline, spam levels still remained above the values of the first five months of the year.
- The spam decline also impacted the share of spam e-mail in terms of overall e-mail levels: it was at 72.0% in September, while it had still been at 82.9% in August.
- The main cause for the decline in spam was the absence of major spam waves from Saudi Arabia, which had significantly contributed to the spam growth in June and July. In September, Saudi Arabia only came in seventh in the ranking of countries of spam origin with 5.3% of all spam e-mails; in August, the country had still been in first place with a record share of 28.9%. India once again came in first with 16.4%, followed by Turkey (5.8%) and Spain, which jumped from twelfth in August to third (5.6%). The US, the long-term spam leader, came in fifth with 4.3%. (see graphic)
- Considerably less spam came from Germany in September: in August 2012, German IP addresses ranked third in terms of countries of origin with 7.7%; in September, Germany only came in tenth with 2.7%.
- One noticeable change in September was a wider distribution in spamming: while the five largest spam countries of origin were still responsible for significantly more than half of all spam e-mails in August (59.9%), that share fell to slightly more than one third in September (38.7%). In September, the share of top-ten spamming countries was even slightly below the top five in August with 59.3%.
- Shifts also occurred in September in terms of spam topics: one noticeable trend was a dramatic increase in the share of particularly dangerous e-mails. Drive-by mailings came in third in the category of spam topics with 9.5%; fraudulent scam e-mails increased from 0.2% to 2.1%. Advertisements for pharmaceutical products remained the most important spam topic, but their share decreased from 56.3% to 46.9%. (see graphic)
- An evident trend for malware dissemination was the continued targeting of specific recipient groups such as recipients in a specific country. Campaigns targeting German users once again used Deutsche Post and Sparkassen banks, which had primarily been the target of phishing attacks in the past, as bait for disseminating Trojans.
- On an international scale, well-known and popular brands were used as a pretense for malware dissemination and drive-by attacks. In addition to social media platforms such as LinkedIn and Facebook, that also included Microsoft as well as the US consumer protection organization Better Business Bureau.
You can find eleven's complete E-mail Security Report on the eleven website at www.eleven.de/eleven-security-reports-en.html.
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