In February, spammers continued with their January mass-mailings devoted to St Valentine’s Day. The numbers of unsolicited valentines peaked on February 12th at 0.2% of all spam messages. In English-language spam, messages emerged offering Easter presents and holiday symbols. Interestingly, we have observed an English-language mass-mailing that exploited the date of 8 March, or the International Women’s Day, which isn’t a popular holiday in English-speaking countries. Curiously, the fair sex were offered “male-only” pills as a present.
Over the period in question, 2.8% of all e-mail contained malicious files, which is 1.5% lower than last month. For the second month in a row, the United States topped the list of countries with most mail antivirus detections, although the number for the US has declined slightly compared to January. Russia has left the Top 10 countries with the most Kaspersky Mail Antivirus detections, giving its place to Brazil. India has moved from the 4th to the 6th place after losing some 1.5% and being overtaken by Germany.
“The decreasing share of spam containing malicious attachments is most probably a passing phenomenon,” comments Maria Namestnikova, Senior Spam Analyst at Kaspersky Lab. “It is very unlikely that spammers would give up participation in malware distribution partnership programs, especially at a time when the level of contract spam in the Internet domains of the developing countries is decreasing due to the economic crisis.”
The ranking of spam “states of origin” has seen virtually no change. India holds tightly on its leaders’ status, Indonesia and Brazil are next on the list. All in all, the 12 positions are taken by the same players as in the previous month, although some have swapped places.
The number of antiphishing detections is up 3.5% on sites aimed at stealing the credentials of social network users. Facebook users were the most popular target for phishers in February. At the same time, online stores and auctions saw a 3% drop in the number of detections. Amazon, the popular online store, has ceded some ground after being a leader in January.
The complete version of February 2012 spam report is available at www.securelist.com.