Less spam, but keep guard up, Kaspersky says-A A +A
Friday, February 8, 2013
THE heightened use of anti-spam protection by Internet users has caused a drop in spam volume in 2012, a recent report by Kaspersky Lab said.
The volume of spam or electronic junk mail declined by 8.2 percent to 72.1 percent last year, from 80.3 percent in 2011 and 82.2 percent in 2010.
Apart from the use of anti-spam applications, Kaspersky attributed the decline in spam volume to the shuttering of several botnet command centers and pharmaceutical affiliate programs last year and the use of mandatory domain key identified mail (DKIM) signature policies by email providers.
DKIMS are digital signatures that verify the domain from which emails are sent.
Darya Gudkova, Kaspersky Lab head of Content Analysis and Research, said in a statement that the percentage of spam decreased and, during the final three months in 2012, remained below 70 percent.
China emerged as the top source country of spam, contributing 19.5 percent of all unsolicited email. Kaspersky said the findings were unprecedented as China was not even in the top 20 spam sources in 2011, which India had topped.
The firm said the entry of China in the list increases Asia’s ranking as the primary regional source of spam, contributing half of the total volume. North America came second with 15.8 percent last year.
Among the top 20 countries that are sources of spam for 2012 was the Philippines, although it reportedly contributed only 1.1 percent of the overall spam.
Despite the decrease in overall percentage of spam in mail traffic, the report said the proportion of emails with malicious attachments declined by 3.4 percent. Even if anti-spam laws were passed and botnets were shut down, the firm said, spammers took advantage of powerful computing resources in China and the US then used these to build new botnets.
The report also said there was a spread of malicious programs that steal usernames and logins, primarily account information for financial services. Kaspersky reminded Internet users to remain cautious, especially when opening emails, and to update software regularly.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on February 09, 2013.