Spam down 65 per cent year-on-year


Spam has dropped 65.42 per cent year-on-year as the Rustock takedown continues to have an impact, a report has shown.

Having fallen 27.43 per cent in March, average daily spam went down by another 5.35 per cent in April, Symantec discovered.

In April 2010, spam made up 89.22 per cent of all messages, compared to 74.81 per cent this year.

Despite the decline, spammers still latched onto some major news events as part of their campaigns.

In particular, they jumped on the death of Osama Bin Laden, poisoning messages and claiming to show unseen footage of the killing.

"Following a historical pattern, we observed more legitimate messages than spam immediately following the death," Symantec said in its report.

"After 24-48 hours, however, we saw more targeted and sophisticated spam attacks leveraging this event."

In one example, Symantec saw a major news organisation spoofed within an email claiming to show uncensored photos and videos from the CIA-led raid.

Recent research from found, in total, British consumers were being sent 111 million spam emails and text messages every day.

Getting phishy with it

Phishing increased 15.61 per cent in April when compared to March, as cyber criminals made further use of automated toolkits and unique domains.

Phishing websites created by automated toolkits increased by around 26.19 per cent, whilst unique URLs went up 12.29 per cent.

Scammers also used multi-lingual techniques to snare users. The number of non-English phishing sites rose 16.23 per cent, with Portuguese, Italian and Spanish the most commonly used languages outside of English.

Tom Brewster

Tom Brewster is currently an associate editor at Forbes and an award-winning journalist who covers cyber security, surveillance, and privacy. Starting his career at ITPro as a staff writer and working up to a senior staff writer role, Tom has been covering the tech industry for more than ten years and is considered one of the leading journalists in his specialism.

He is a proud alum of the University of Sheffield where he secured an undergraduate degree in English Literature before undertaking a certification from General Assembly in web development.