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Q2’10 spam & virus trends “16% increase in spam, 260% increase in virus”, Google Postini report

Spam volume fluctuates in the short term; it shot up 16% from Q1’10 to Q2’10, but overall, spam levels are down 15% from Q2’09. However Q2’10 virus was 260% higher than Q2’09. These trends tell us that spammers are extremely active, their botnets produce high levels spam & virus traffic, and continuously exploiting new techniques.

  • obfuscated (hidden) JavaScript attacks have a recent surge. These messages are a hybrid between virus & spam messages, designed to look like Non Delivery Report (NDR) messages, with hidden JavaScript, that may forward user’s browser to a pharma site or tried to download something unexpected, which’s more virus-like. Since the messages contained classic JavaScript which generates code, messages could change themselves and take multiple forms, making them challenging to identify
  • False Social Networking Messages continue to be one of the most frequently spoofed domains for the purpose of spreading phishing scams and virus downloaders
  • Current events. spammers continue to spoof major news stories
  • Shipping scams. claiming to be from major shipping companies, with subject look like an invoice and the message contain random text such as news stories, with attached zip file that contain some sort of virus payload
  • phishing scams. there’s also a continued upswing in “friend-in-need” phishing attempts, where hackers break into email account of unsuspecting users and then hand-type a message to send to victim’s email contacts
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