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January 23, 2013

Email spam traffic falls to five year low in 2012

China accounted for 19.5% of all unsolicited mail in 2012 followed by the US with 15.6%.

By CBR Staff Writer

According to Kaspersky Lab, the share of spam in email traffic fell to a five year low of 72.1% in 2012. The percentage of spam fell 8.2% when compared to the same period in 2011.

Kaspersky Lab said the decline in spam was due to the heightened level of anti-spam protection in email systems and inexpensive advertising on legal platforms. The introduction of DKIM signature policies which verifies domains of emails sent was also said to be a factor.

The proportion of emails with malicious attachments fell only slightly to 3.4% despite the drop in the overall percentage of spam in email traffic.

China accounted for 19.5% of all unsolicited mail in 2012 followed by the US with 15.6%.

Kaspersky Lab said Asia’s share junk mail rose 11.2 percentage points to 50% and due to the increased spam contribution from the US, North America took second place with 15.8%.

The amount of spam originating in Latin America fell by 8 percentage points at 11.8% and Europe also dropped down the ranks.

In 2012, the total amount of spam originating in Western and Eastern Europe combined came to 15.1%, about half the amount reported in 2011.

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Kaspersky Lab head of content analysis & research Darya Gudkova said the percentage of spam decreased over the course of the year, and remained below 70% during the last three months of 2012.

"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," Gudkova said.

"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."

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