Email Spam Levels Fall To 12-Year Low

email overload spam ©TijanaM /

For the first time since September 2003, less than half of all emails sent are spam, Symantec report reveals

The level of spam emails has fallen to its lowest rate for 12 years as cyber-criminals increasingly look to widen their armoury, new research has found.

For the first time since September 2003, spam emails made up less than half (49.7 percent) of all the email traffic sent around the world.

That’s according to the latest monthly Symantec Intelligence Report, which also found that there had been a significant increase in the number of new malware variants and ransomware attacks detected in the past month.


Spam, email © Feng Yu, Shutterstock 2014Overall, Symantec detected 57.6m new malware variants being created in June, up from 44.5m in May and 29.2m in April, suggesting that attackers are looking to move to other areas of the threat landscape.

“This increase in activity lends more evidence to the idea that, with the continued drops in email-based malicious activity, attackers are simply moving to other areas of the threat landscape,” Ben Nahorney, Symantec cyber security threat analyst, said of the report.

Over 477,000 ransomware attacks were detected in June, marking the second month in a row ransomware attacks have increased since they reached a 12-month low in April, although the company says the numbers are still below the levels seen at the end of 2014.

Symantec also monitored which industry verticals were being hit hardest by targeted attacks, with the manufacturing sector coming out on top, despite the total number of attacks falling from 41 percent in May to 22 percent.

Manufacturing still comes out on top in terms of sectors being subjected to targeted attacks, but the activity is now in line with what is being seen in the Finance, Insurance, and Real Estate sector and the Services — Professional sector, which come in at second and third place.

Symantec’s findings appear to clash with some of their competitors, which note that spam levels are actually on the rise.

A recent McAfee labs report found that over six trillion spam messages were sent across the world in just the first three months of 2015, illustrating the sheer scale of the problem facing computer users across the world.

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