In this report, economy- related topics played a major role, as spammers continue to utilize it as a ruse to deliver their spam messages. In general, spam levels averaged in at 76.4 percent of all email messages in October– a decrease from a high of 80 percent in August.
Specific Trends Highlighted in the Report
– It’s the Economy, Stupid”
In October, Symantec detected a spam attack that supposedly came from US Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson. The message suggested that Paulson had been instructed by the United Nations to “wire a sum of $1M into your Bank Account in a Legal way”. For the recipient to claim the money, he must provide his personal details. In order to sound legitimate, the email begins by providing personal information of the Secretary.
Consequently, Symantec observed another spam attack in October, purportedly originating from the FDIC. This after the US Congress has temporarily increased FDIC deposit insurance from US $100,000 to US $250,000 per depositor until December 31, 2009. The spam message claimed that “funds wired into your account are stolen”, asking the recipients to check their account statement, which the message claims, is attached to the email. Victims who then opened the attachment are exposed to malware.
– The Holidays are Coming: ‘Tis the Season for Spam
As the holiday season approaches, spammers are once again taking a seasonal spam angle and using email to tout such wares as pharmaceutical, product and casino spam.
Other November State of Spam Report Highlights:
– Rise in Image Spam Linked to Phising Scam
– Lottery Scam, Sister to 419 Spam, Continues in October
– Obfuscated URL Attack Targeting German–Speaking Domains