October 2012 Marked by US Election Spam, Report Reveals

The percentage of spam in email traffic dropped by 4.5% compared to the previous month

Kaspersky has released its spam report for October 2012 and, as expected, a large percentage of the unsolicited emails that landed in inboxes in the previous month had something to do with US President Barack Obama or the elections.

The figures reveal that in the month that passed, the percentage of spam in email traffic dropped by 4.5% compared to September, but the number of phishing emails remained approximately the same.

The number of malicious files attached to emails recorded a decrease, but of only 0.15 percentage points.

Curiously, in October, Halloween spam wasn’t the only holiday-themed spam. Users already started seeing malicious messages advertising Christmas and even New Year products.

As far as the sources of spam are concerned, China and the US topped the chart with 30, respectively 27, percent. The two countries are responsible for well over half of all the spam in the world.

They’re followed by India, Vietnam, Brazil, Russia, UK and Korea.

Of all the spam emails containing malware, most of them landed in the inboxes of German users (12.5%), followed by US (11.4%), UK (8.8%) and Russia (7.1%).

The monthly report also reveals that the ZeuS malware is still making the rounds. A variant of the spyware has been named to most popular malicious program spread in email traffic.

When it comes to phishing, online stores and e-auction sites were the most targeted, closely followed by financial organizations.

Search engine phishing also takes up 18.6% of the chart.

“The fact is that in summer phishers mostly attack schoolchildren and students who spend lots of time surfing the Internet during their holidays. As business activity starts to resume at the end of summer, fraudsters return their attention to financial organizations,” Kaspersky’s Darya Gudkova explained.

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