More Than Half Of World’s Emails Are Spam And Malware

Mobile devices are now a particular focus for criminals’ spam and malware attacks

The volume of spam emails in 2015 fell by 11.48 percent compared to 2014 but still represented 55.28 percent of overall email traffic.

This is according to Kaspersky Lab, which said the significant slump in spam emails can be attributed to the increasing popularity of legal advertising platforms on the likes of social networks and coupon clipping services.

Mobile devices

Among other trends identified in Kaspersky Lab’s latest spam report are:

More than three quarters (79 percent) of all emails sent were less than 2kb, which shows a steady decrease in email size for spam campaigns over the past few years.

whatsapp mobileFinancial institutions such as banks, payment systems and online shops were attacked most often with phishing emails (34.33 percent, a rise of 5.59 percent).

In 2015, cybercriminals continued to send out fake emails from mobile devices and notifications from mobile apps containing malware or advertising messages. New tactics included fraudsters spreading malware in the form of .apk (Android executive files) and .jar (ZIP archives containing a programme in Java). In addition, cybercriminals masked a mobile encryption Trojan behind a file containing updates for Flash Player. After launching, the malware encrypted images, documents and video files stored on the device with users receiving a message telling them to pay a fee in order to decrypt the files.

Daria Loseva, spam analyst at Kaspersky Lab, said: “The increased use of mobile devices in our everyday life to exchange messages and data, as well as access and control bank accounts, has also resulted in increased exploitation opportunities for cybercriminals.

“Mobile malware and fraudulent spam is becoming more popular and efforts to dupe victims are becoming more sophisticated year on year, with the emergence of apps that can be used by cybercriminals both directly (for sending out spam, including malicious spam) and indirectly (via phishing emails). Mobile device users therefore need to be on their guard and remain vigilant, as cybercriminal activities in this area are only likely to increase, along with our reliance on devices.”

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