Spam for all occasions

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Spam for all occasions

Spammers were more naughty than nice this past holiday season, according to Symantec’s monthly ‘State of Spam’ report.

As 2007 ended, spam surged and accounted for 75 percent of all email (up from 72 percent in November), increasing to 83 percent in the last few days leading up to the Christmas holiday.

While the majority of the spam messages encountered in December consisted of common spam we are all accustomed to seeing, spammers did modify their URLs with holiday-related keywords and phrases to give them a more seasonal appeal.

Even image spam was not immune to modification during the holiday season. Spammers inserted the same key seasonal words into their image spam offerings in an effort to plant ideas for holiday gift giving into consumers’ minds.

The only promising aspect of the report was that Australia/Oceania continues to be one of the lowest global sources of Internet spam.

Highlights from this month included;

  • Holiday Spam Spikes: Spam levels reached new levels as spammers inserted holiday-oriented keywords into everything from subject lines to images.


  • Spammers Get Honest? Not So Fast: Spammers tried a new twist on an old scam, falsely promising past spam victim’s restitution of $100,000.


  • As Oil Prices Hike, Spammers Strike: This new spam claims to identify gas stations that fraudulently tamper with pump prices.


  • Not-So-Happy New Year: Recipients were invited to download a fun New Year’s song and dance, but instead found themselves downloading something far more malicious.


  • Presidential Polling Scam: Promising gift cards in exchange for opinions, spammers leverage the US presidential primaries to collect personal information.


  • Beware of Blogs spam: The use of blogs within spams appears to be on the rise, particularly in China where simplified character sets are common.
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