Malicious spam targets financial info: Kaspersky Lab

Banking info leads junk mail hit list for third year in a row

Tags: Cyber crimeKaspersky Lab
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Malicious spam targets financial info: Kaspersky Lab In some spam categories commercial advertising is being gradually displaced by criminal mailings.
By Staff Writer Published  February 1, 2014

Kaspersky Lab's cyber security team has released is spam trends findings for 2013.

By monitoring spam messages in global e-mail traffic and tracking their source, Kaspersky Lab was able to identify that 0.1%  of spam in 2013 was sent via computers and servers based in the UAE, placing the country in the 51st position worldwide. The Middle East came sixth in 2013 with more than two-timed drop in its share in comparison with 2012.

The proportion of spam in email traffic continues to fall - in the last three years the share of unsolicited messages has fallen by 10.7 percentage points. It appears that advertisers increasingly prefer the various types of legitimate online advertising that are now available and which generate higher response rates at lower costs than spam can offer.   

The criminalization of spam

In some spam categories commercial advertising is being gradually displaced by criminal mailings such as spam messages advertising illegal goods or pornography. A typical example is the "Travel and Tourism" category that used to account for 5 to 10% of all spam traffic. These days, commercial adverts like this are rare, but the experts see numerous malicious emails actively exploiting the subject of travel and leisure.

Fake antivirus vendor messages

It is common for IT security experts to recommend that users regularly update their antivirus solutions, and that is something that cybercriminals tried to take advantage of in 2013. In emails that appear to be sent by well-known antivirus vendors such as Kaspersky Lab, McAfee, ESET and Symantec, they urged users to update their systems immediately using an attached file. The attachment turned out to contain a Trojan from the infamous ZeuS/Zbot family that is designed to steal sensitive user data, particularly financial information.

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