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Kaspersky Reveals E-mail Spam Traffic to Decline by 5-Year Low in 2012
Spam Filter Service News for March 7, 2013

Spam e-mail traffic has declined comparatively throughout 2012 to strike a 5-year low, as per Kaspersky Lab data. The average spam trafficking in 2012 stands at 1.72, which was comparatively almost 8.2% less against 2011. Such an extended and considerable decline in spam levels is recorded.

Anti-spam protection can be indicated as one of the main reason behind such a decline. Currently, spam filters are activated on about every e-mail system, even on those that are free-of-cost. Compulsory Domain Keys Identified Mail (DKIM) signature policies (digital signatures that verify the domain from which emails are sent) have already been introduced by various e-mail providers. Yet another factor that could be reasonably a fact behind this decline is cost-efficient advertising on officially permitted platforms. However, with the rise of Web 2.0 lucrative avenues for promotion have been created and Internet advertising including banners, context-based advertising, and ads on social networks and blogs have skyrocketed.

Regardless of decline in entire percentage of spam in mail traffic, the proportion of e-mails having malicious attachments saw a slight decline of 3.4%. Though it seems to be a minute percentage but in terms of the number that reflects only e-mails with malicious attachments that ignores other spam e-mails that includes links to malicious websites, the number is huge.

In 2012, spammers diversified their repertoire of subjects in malicious emails. Earlier they generally used to masquerade notifications belonging to hosting services, such as delivery services, messages from financial and government organizations, and social networks. Last year however, these malicious notifications saw vivid change in a variety of services like airlines, hostel reservation services, and coupon services.

Many of the spammers are domestic. The United States ranked to the second position with 13.5 % points while China was the top scorer, though it was not even on the 20 hot source of spam in 2011.

Both countries have both formerly been most important sources of spam. But with anti-spam laws passed and shut down of botnets, junk mail approaching from these countries reduced. Obviously, spammers still want to take benefit of the powerful computing resources available in the US and China to set up new botnets in those countries, according to Kaspersky Lab's researchers.

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