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Spam Related to Football and Soccer Keywords Top Global Spam Content: Message Labs

June 29, 2010

Symantec, a provider of security, storage and systems management solutions, announced the publication of its June 2010 MessageLabs Intelligence Report.
Analysis reveals that the percentage of spam related to football and soccer keywords since March 2010 now represents 25 percent of all global spam in the build-up to the FIFA World Cup. 
Beginning on June 2, MessageLabs Intelligence intercepted a run of 45 targeted malware emails en route to executives and managers at Brazilian companies. These attacks are designed to rely on social engineering tactics and World Cup excitement to compromise corporate systems and gain access to corporate information via the recipients. 
The attack used dual attack modes -- a PDF attachment and a malicious link -- to increase the chances of success reasoning that if the PDF attachment is removed by the anti-virus gateway, the malicious link will remain in the cleaned email which many email filtering systems would then deliver to the recipient.
In another intelligence intercept in June, MessageLabs identified pharmaceutical spam using obfuscated JavaScript in the attachment. The obfuscated JavaScript within the attachment contains code to redirect the recipient's browser to a different and disguised location.
Malware usually use an approach to deceive recipients into opening a message that contains unrelated content. The World Cup-related subject line is designed to pique the recipient's curiosity driving them to open the html attachment.
According to MessageLabs Intelligence, global ratio of spam in email traffic from new and previously unknown bad sources was 89.3 percent in June 2010, a decrease of 0.9 percentage points since May.
The global ratio of email-borne viruses in email traffic from new and previously unknown bad sources was one in 276.4 emails in June, a decrease of 0.11 percentage points since May, according to MessageLabs. In June 16.7 percent of email-borne malware contained links to malicious Websites, a decrease of 5.9 percentage points since May.
In June, Phishing activity was 1 in 634.4 emails, a decrease of 0.26 percentage points since May, MessageLabs noted. Analysis of Web security activity shows that 30.3 percent of malicious domains blocked were new in June, a decrease of 1.5 percentage points since May.
MessageLabs Intelligence also identified an average of 1,598 new Web sites per day harboring malware and other potentially unwanted programs such as Spyware and Adware, a decrease of 9.7 percent since May. The June 2010 MessageLabs Intelligence Report also provides detailed geographical and vertical trends.
Last month the company announced May 2010 MessageLabs Intelligence Report. According to the report nine out of ten spam emails contain a URL link in the message. Also, the report found that five percent of all domains found in spam URLs belonged to genuine Web sites.

Rajani Baburajan is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Rajani's articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Alice Straight