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Spam and phishing attacks soar in July

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The latest MessageLabs Intelligence Report from Symantec has revealed how spammers are adapting their tools to trick even more users into falling for email scams.

The report found that, rather than create new messages, spammers are using translation tools and message templates to create emails that cross geographical differences.

This has led to an increase in native language messages, which MessageLabs said account for approximately 50 per cent of spam in Germany and France, 25 per cent in Holland and almost two thirds in Japan.

"Once again the spammers turn to their online toolbox, the internet, for their latest tactics. Translation services and templates enable the spammers to push out multiple-language spam attacks, and some dubious translations through the use of poor online services highlight the use of these antics," said Paul Wood, MessageLabs Intelligence senior analyst.

"Non-English spam now accounts for one in every 20 spam messages, a figure we will be closely monitoring to see whether spammers continue with their global expansion."

However, the amount of new malware being created seems to have reached a plateau. Symantec said that under one per cent of intercepted malware in July was new, representing a dramatic fall against the 58.8 per cent seen in June.

Meanwhile, RSA Security reported in its July Online Fraud Report (PDF) that it had identified more than 13,000 phishing attacks in June, representing a 10 per cent increase against the previous month. Users in the US and UK are most likely to be the victim of such scams, the firm said.

Phishing attacks are becoming more sophisticated, and scammers are using call centre services and forum posts to tempt web users into handing over personal information.

The number of businesses having their details spoofed is also on the increase, according to RSA.

"The number of brands attacked in June rose 11 per cent compared to May, with 15 new targets enduring their first attack last month," the report said.
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Home>World news>Spam and phishing attacks soar in July
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