Spam levels down in 2012: report

Posted at 02/07/2013 5:16 PM

MANILA, Philippines – The percentage of spam or unsolicited bulk messages decreased last year, according to a report.

Security software Kaspersky Lab, which released the report, said the percentage of spam ended at 72.1% in 2012, 8.2% less than in 2011. The company attributed the decline to a heightened use of anti-spam protection among Internet users worldwide.

It also cited the use of domain key identified mail or DKIM, digital signatures that verify the domain from which e-mails are sent.

“This drop is the result of a gradual departure of advertisers from spam to other, more convenient and legal means of promoting goods and services. However, that doesn’t mean spam is headed the way of the dodo anytime soon: malicious spam, fraud and advertising of illegal goods cannot simply or easily migrate to legal platforms, due to their own inherently criminal nature. We expect that the decline in spam volumes in 2013 will be negligible at best,” Darya Gudkova, Kaspersky Lab’s head of content analysis and research, said in a statement.

Gudkova added that the percentage of spam during the last three months of 2012 remained below 70%.

For the whole of last year, China became the top source of spam with 19.5% of all unsolicited e-mail, according to the report. In 2011, China was not even in the top 20.

The Philippines, meanwhile, contributed only 1.1% of spam for 2012.

The most common malicious attachments recorded for 2012 were the Trojan-Spy.HTML.Fraud.gen, Trojan-Spy.Win32.Zbot.fsfe and Trojan-PSW.Win32.Tepfer.cfwf. Fraud.gen and Zbot targeted passwords from financial and payment systems, while Tepfer stole other types of passwords.

Meanwhile, Kaspersky Lab reminded Internet users to not click on links in suspicious e-mails and to update their software regularly.