TRACE Reports Spam Surge

Phishing emails from Asia and holiday spam skyrocket

ATLANTA -- Content security software vendor Marshal Inc.’s Threat Research and Content Engineering (TRACE) team reports that the holiday season has introduced a massive increase in global spam, with China and South Korea leading in phishing e-mails populating the globe.

China is now the number two generator of phishing emails in the world behind South Korea, jumping from 10th position in late November, according to Marshal. Since the Thanksgiving holiday, phishing emails have jumped from 0.4 percent of all spam to a peak of 2.2 percent in early December – tripling average phishing email levels from the past six months.

Marshal’s Spam Volume Index (, launched this month, reveals that Christmas is feeding a frenzy of global spam, with 10.9 percent of all spam found to be Christmas related. This type of “Christmas spam” touts items as ideal Christmas gifts, such as the T.M.XTM Elmo doll, the Playstation®3 or Century Helicopter Products’ remote controlled (RC) helicopter. The upward trend in Christmas spam is likely to continue through Christmas and New Year’s, according to Marshal.

“Beginning around Thanksgiving and continuing until New Year’s, we see a rise in Christmas spam,” said Penny Freeman, director of sales engineering for Marshal. "It happens every year. By using the hottest, hard to find toys for Christmas to grab attention, consumers and employees shopping online, looking for gifts ideas and receiving e-cards are more likely to open the messages.”

Marshal Inc.

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