Feeds

Translation services used to pump out polyglot spam

Sie haben multi sprachliche Trödelpost

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

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. ®

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
Regin: The super-spyware the security industry has been silent about
NSA fingered as likely source of complex malware family
Why did it take antivirus giants YEARS to drill into super-scary Regin? Symantec responds...
FYI this isn't just going to target Windows, Linux and OS X fans
Privacy bods offer GOV SPY VICTIMS a FREE SPYWARE SNIFFER
Looks for gov malware that evades most antivirus
Patch NOW! Microsoft slings emergency bug fix at Windows admins
Vulnerability promotes lusers to domain overlords ... oops
HACKERS can DELETE SURVEILLANCE DVRS remotely – report
Hikvision devices wide open to hacking, claim securobods
'Regin': The 'New Stuxnet' spook-grade SOFTWARE WEAPON described
'A degree of technical competence rarely seen'
Astro-boffins start opening universe simulation data
Got a supercomputer? Want to simulate a universe? Here you go
You stupid BRICK! PCs running Avast AV can't handle Windows fixes
Fix issued, fingers pointed, forums in flames
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing and building an open ITOA architecture
Learn about a new IT data taxonomy defined by the four data sources of IT visibility: wire, machine, agent, and synthetic data sets.
Why CIOs should rethink endpoint data protection in the age of mobility
Assessing trends in data protection, specifically with respect to mobile devices, BYOD, and remote employees.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
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.