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January 27, 2012

Spamming touches a high during holidays or major events: Report

To further lure recipients to open their messages, spammers are using additional social engineering techniques, says Symantec

By CBR Staff Writer

Spammers are using holidays and major events to make their mails enticing, according to the findings of its January Symantec Intelligence Report.

The report has seen more than 10,000 unique domain names compromised with a redirect script written in PHP containing a reference to the New Year in the file name.

These redirect scripts were hosted on compromised web sites and links to these were included in spam emails.

To further lure recipients to open their messages, spammers used additional social engineering techniques.

Symantec senior intelligence analyst Paul Wood said Symantec also expects to see plenty of spam and malware taking advantage of some of the major upcoming sporting events this year.

"We are already seeing references to the Summer Olympics in London as part of 419 or advance fee fraud messages," said Wood.

Though spam levels dropped during December globally, January saw them returning to as high as was witnessed in November 2011.

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The report revealed that Saudi Arabia became the most spammed place in January, with a spam rate of 75.5%; the Netherlands became the country most targeted for phishing attacks in January, with one in 62.6 emails identified as phishing; the Netherlands had the highest ratio of malicious emails in January, with one in 61.4 emails identified as malicious; the Education sector became the most spammed industry sector in January, with a spam rate of 71% and the spam rate for small to medium-sized businesses (1-250) was 68.9%, compared with 69.1% for large enterprises (2500+).

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