Kaspersky Lab

 

Press Releases

21.11.2016

The amount of malicious spam reaches all time high in Q3, 2016

According to the Kaspersky Lab Spam and Phishing in Q3 report, the company’s products blocked 73,066,751 attempts to attack users with malicious attachments.

This is the largest amount of malicious spam in Kaspersky Lab’s monitoring history and is a 37 per cent increase compared to the previous quarter. The majority of those attachments were ransomware trojan downloaders.

After a few relatively stable months, the percentage of spam in the global email traffic increased. The average for the quarter was 59.19 per cent, an increase of around two per cent in comparison to the previous quarter, meaning that around six in ten of all emails received are now unsolicited spam. Moreover, the percentage of spam in global email traffic in September hit the yearly maximum and equaled 61.25 per cent.

“Spam is often just unwanted advertising, but it has a darker side too. Criminals use spam to distribute malware and exploit users’ vulnerability, convincing them to hand over their money and personal details. The majority of malicious spam emails during the past quarter contained ransomware, which is yet more proof of the rising epidemic of this type of malware. We urge you not to open any suspicious attachments or click on unknown links – the website could be compromised - because all of these can result in device infection,” notes Daria Gudkova, Acting Head of Content Analysis and Research, Kaspersky Lab.

Besides distributing ransomware, in Q3 spammers tried to lure victims into fraud schemes by offering them the chance to test products, including expensive household appliances or cutting-edge electronics, such as the recently announced iPhone 7.

The email headers included: “Register to test & keep a new iPhone 7S!” and “Wanted: iPhone 7S Testers!”. All users had to do was provide their postal and email addresses and other personal information, and pay for the postage. In return, the products would be sent to them. No guarantees were given and the result was that the fraudsters simply made off with the delivery payments and personal details of their victims.

“Fraudsters often use big new stories to trick people. The iPhone 7 example is just one of many that were used during the quarter. As the saying goes - free cheese is only found in a mousetrap. We urge people to stay vigilant, to treat emails from unknown senders with caution and to make sure in advance that they are using a reliable AV solution,” added Daria Gudkova.

Other significant findings in the Spam and Phishing in Q3 2016 report include:

·         India moved to the top of the list of countries generating spam, with 14.02 per cent of spam emails sent from the country. This represents a 4.4 per cent increase on the previous quarter. Vietnam retained its second place with 11.01 per cent, followed by the USA (8.88 per cent), which moved down from first to third place.

·         Germany remained the target country of choice for spammers, with 13.21 per cent of users affected by spam mailshots, down 1.48 per cent on Q2. Japan ended the quarter as the second most favored target (8.76 per cent), an increase of 2.36 per cent, while China (8.37 per cent) rounded off the top three, moving down from second place.  

·         The Kaspersky Lab anti-phishing system was triggered 37,515,531 times on the computers of Kaspersky Lab users - a 15 per cent increase compared to Q2, 2016.

·         The country where the largest percentage of users were affected by phishing attacks was once again China (20.21 per cent), followed by Brazil (18.23 per cent) and UAE (11.07 per cent).

·         ‘Banks’ topped the ranking of organisations attacked by phishers, with a share of 27.13 per cent, which is a 1.7 per cent increase on Q2, 2016. ‘Banks’ were followed by ‘Global Internet portals’ (21.73 per cent), an increase of 0.8 per cent and ‘online-shops’ (12.21 per cent), a 2.82 per cent increase.

Read the full Spam and Phishing Report, Q3 2016 at Securelist.com.

 

About Kaspersky Lab

Kaspersky Lab is a global cybersecurity company founded in 1997. Kaspersky Lab’s deep threat intelligence and security expertise is constantly transforming into security solutions and services to protect businesses, critical infrastructure, governments and consumers around the globe. The company’s comprehensive security portfolio includes leading endpoint protection and a number of specialised security solutions and services to fight sophisticated and evolving digital threats. Over 400 million users are protected by Kaspersky Lab technologies and we help 270,000 corporate clients protect what matters most to them.

Learn more at www.kaspersky.co.uk

 

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