Feeds

Translation services used to pump out polyglot spam

Sie haben multi sprachliche Trödelpost

Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL

Spammers are making greater use of automated translation services and templates to create multiple language junk mail runs.

The tactic has resulted in even greater volumes of spam in email traffic to countries in continental Europe, in particular, according to the latest monthly security report by net services firm Messagelabs. While global spam volumes dropped slightly by around one percentage point to 89.4 per cent, junk mail flows into countries including Germany, France and The Netherlands are experiencing levels of over 95 per cent.

Germany overtook France as the world's most dumped on country, with junk mail levels rising to 97.5 per cent. This volume compares with 86.0 per cent in the US, 93.6 per cent in the UK and 90.6 per cent in Japan.

Local language spam makes up 46 per cent of spam in Germany and 53 per cent in France. In The Netherlands, 25 percent of spam is in Dutch. In Japan, 62.3 per cent is in non-English languages and in China this number is 54.7 per cent.

MessageLabs said greater use of online translation tools, rather than other factors such as internationalisation of those who send spam, accounts for the changes.

"Translation services and templates enable the spammers to push out multiple-language spam attacks, and some dubious translations through the use of poor online services highlight the use of these antics," explained Paul Wood, MessageLabs Intelligence senior analyst at Symantec. "Non-English spam now accounts for one in every 20 spam messages, a figure we’ll be closely monitoring to see if spammers continue with their global expansion."

Other developments monitored by MessageLabs suggest VXers have taken an early summer holiday. 58.8 per cent of the incidents of web-based malware detected by MessageLabs in June were down to new strains of malware. In July, by contrast, 99.3 per cent of web-based malware was down to variants it had logged before the start of the month, and just 0.7 per cent was new. MessageLabs said that despite the slowdown, the number of websites detected which harboured malware of one sort or another reached a nine month high of 3,618.

The July edition of MessageLabs' net security report can be found here (PDF).

In related spam trend news, security firm McAfee reports that scammers are capitalising on public concerns about the swine flu pandemic to pump out more junk mail linked to dodgy pharmaceuticals. Spam levels for the three months between March and June clocked in at around 92 per cent, McAfee reports.

The vast majority of junk mails originate from networks of malware infected Windows PCs (botnets). Fourteen million computers were turned into botnet clients last quarter, an average of more than 150,000 computers infected every day, according to McAfee. The US made the largest single contribution to this rising zombie tide, accounting for 15 per cent of newly compromised computers. ®

The next step in data security

More from The Register

next story
Israeli spies rebel over mass-snooping on innocent Palestinians
'Disciplinary treatment will be sharp and clear' vow spy-chiefs
Infosec geniuses hack a Canon PRINTER and install DOOM
Internet of Stuff securo-cockups strike yet again
'Speargun' program is fantasy, says cable operator
We just might notice if you cut our cables
Apple Pay is a tidy payday for Apple with 0.15% cut, sources say
Cupertino slurps 15 cents from every $100 purchase
YouTube, Amazon and Yahoo! caught in malvertising mess
Cisco says 'Kyle and Stan' attack is spreading through compromised ad networks
Hackers pop Brazil newspaper to root home routers
Step One: try default passwords. Step Two: Repeat Step One until success
Greater dev access to iOS 8 will put us AT RISK from HACKERS
Knocking holes in Apple's walled garden could backfire, says securo-chap
Microsoft to patch ASP.NET mess even if you don't
We know what's good for you, because we made the mess says Redmond
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.