Feeds

Spam deluge eclipses email virus threat

Penis pill pandemonium

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

May witnessed an all-time low for virus-laden emails and a record high for spam, according to stats from email filtering firm BlackSpider Technologies. Emails containing malware made up just 0.73 percent of all emails scanned by BlackSpider last month while junk emails represented 87.74 per cent. By comparison, the number of virus-infected emails reached 3.93 per cent of all emails in December 2005, a record high. The drop since then is reckoned to be down to a shift of tactics by malware authors, who are beginning to favour targeted attacks.

The high level of spam last month is partly explained by a spike that occurred between 21 and 23 May, when UK businesses were flooded by more than 250m spam emails. The surge of spam were sent from a botnet of more than 150,000 compromised PCs, or 'spambots'. The content of the emails varied throughout the deluge. Each one, however, links to websites selling penis pills and other drugs. The subject lines and body text of each spam email contained obfuscated drugs names (such as CtqALLlS). The emails ended with a poem or paragraph of random obfuscating words designed to fox less sophisticated email filters.

James Kay, CTO, BlackSpider Technologies, said: "The sheer number of compromised machines making up these botnets demonstrates that, despite the reduction in the percentage of email carrying viruses, virus infection continues to be a widespread problem". ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
14 antivirus apps found to have security problems
Vendors just don't care, says researcher, after finding basic boo-boos in security software
'Things' on the Internet-of-things have 25 vulnerabilities apiece
Leaking sprinklers, overheated thermostats and picked locks all online
iWallet: No BONKING PLEASE, we're Apple
BLE-ding iPhones, not NFC bonkers, will drive trend - marketeers
Only '3% of web servers in top corps' fully fixed after Heartbleed snafu
Just slapping a patched OpenSSL on a machine ain't going to cut it, we're told
How long is too long to wait for a security fix?
Synology finally patches OpenSSL bugs in Trevor's NAS
Secure microkernel that uses maths to be 'bug free' goes open source
Hacker-repelling, drone-protecting code will soon be yours to tweak as you see fit
Israel's Iron Dome missile tech stolen by Chinese hackers
Corporate raiders Comment Crew fingered for attacks
Tor attack nodes RIPPED MASKS off users for 6 MONTHS
Traffic confirmation attack bared users' privates - but to whom?
Roll out the welcome mat to hackers and crackers
Security chap pens guide to bug bounty programs that won't fail like Yahoo!'s
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.