The Kaspersky Lab latest report reveals spam in the second quarter of 2015 was dominated by letters based on real events

WOBURN, MA – August 17, 2015 – / — Kaspersky Lab announced the Spam and Phishing in Q2 of 2015 report, which discovered a marked increase in the use of world events in spam emails in attempts to extract personal data and voluntary donations from victims worldwide. Events that were highlighted included, the earthquake in Nepal, the presidential election in Nigeria and the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

Although the percentage of spam in email traffic decreased by 5.8 percent from the previous quarter (from 59.2% to 53.4%), Q2 2015 spam emails were more focused on current events to lure victims. Some spam included fake messages asking the recipients to make a donation to help the victims of the earthquake in Nepal. In other mass mailings, fraudsters tried to lure recipients with the sum of $2 million, which the newly elected President of Nigeria was allegedly ready to send the user as compensation. Additional mailings included fraudulent notifications of being chosen through a lottery drawing for tickets to watch the Olympic Games in Brazil, 2016. These mailing were an attempt to persuade recipients to provide spammers with personal data to receive the prize.

Darya Gudkova, Head of Content Analysis and Research Department, Kaspersky Lab said, “During this quarter we saw spammers use tragic events to trick consumers. It’s a tactic that fraudsters have used before, but with events like the Nepal earthquake being covered widely by media worldwide, these messages are likely to resonate with sympathetic recipients. To protect themselves, people should not open emails from unknown senders and remember not to click links in these emails, or open any attachments. With some fraudsters using tactics to make the name and address of the sender look more legitimate, this is more important than ever.”

Countries targeted by malicious mailshots
In the second quarter of 2015, there were major changes in the top three countries most often targeted by mailshots. Germany (19.59%), which was only fourth in Q1, topped the quarter’s rating. The UK, which headed the rating in Q1 2015, moved down to second place (6.31%) and Brazil came in third (6.04%).

The USA (5.03%), which was traditionally the country most often targeted by malicious mailshots, was in fourth place. In addition, Russia (4.74%), which came only 10th in the previous quarter, climbed to the fifth position.

Sources of spam by country
The USA (14.59%) and Russia (7.82%) remained the biggest sources of spam. China came third with 7.14% of the world’s spam, compared to 3.23% in the previous quarter. It was followed by Vietnam (5.04% compared to 4.82% in Q1), Germany (4.13% compared to 4.39% in Q1) and Ukraine (3.90% compared to 5.56% in Q1).

In Q2 2015, Kaspersky Lab’s anti-phishing system was triggered 30,807,071 times on the computers of Kaspersky Lab users. 509,905 masks of phishing URLs were added to the Kaspersky Lab databases over this period.

Spam in email traffic
There has been a worldwide decline in the share of spam in email traffic since the beginning of the year. In the second quarter of 2015 it stabilized, fluctuating between 53.5% in April and 53.23% in June.

Malicious attachments in email
Trojan-Spy.HTML.Fraud.gen topped the rating of malicious programs sent by email. This program is a fake HTML page which is sent via email, imitating an important notification from a large commercial bank, an online store, or a software developer, etc. This threat appears as an HTML phishing website where a user has to enter his personal data, which is then forwarded to cybercriminals.

For the full ‘spam and phishing in Q2 of 2015’ report, click here:

About Kaspersky Lab
Kaspersky Lab is one of the world’s fastest-growing cybersecurity companies and the largest that is privately-owned. The company is ranked among the world’s top four vendors of security solutions for endpoint users (IDC, 2014). Since 1997 Kaspersky Lab has been an innovator in cybersecurity and provides effective digital security solutions and threat intelligence for large enterprises, SMBs and consumers. Kaspersky Lab is an international company, operating in almost 200 countries and territories across the globe, providing protection for over 400 million users worldwide.

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Sarah Kitsos

Source: Kaspersky Lab


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