More April malware trends

Analysis of Web security activity shows 36.1 percent of all web-based malware intercepted was new in April, as increase of 23.3 percent since March. In April 2008, the global ratio of spam in email traffic from new and previously unknown bad sources, was 73.5 percent (1 in 1.36 emails), a decrease of 0.3 percent on the previous month.The global ratio of email-borne viruses in email traffic from new and previously unknown bad sources, was 1 in 218.9 emails (0.46 percent) in April, a decrease of 0.13 percent since the previous month.

April saw an increase of 0.05 percent in the proportion of phishing attacks compared with the previous month. One in 206.1 (0.49 percent) emails comprised some form of phishing attack. When judged as a proportion of all email-borne threats such as viruses and Trojans, the number of phishing emails rose by 13.1 percent to 87.1 percent of all email-borne malware threats intercepted in April.

Geographical Trends:

  • In April, Hong Kong reclaimed the top-spot from Switzerland as the most spammed country with spam levels reaching 83.7 percent of all email. The largest increase in spam levels was in Canada, with an increase of 5.85 percent.
  • Spam levels in the US reached 70.1 percent in April, 75 percent in Canada and 66.2 percent in the UK. Germany’s spam rate reached 70.6 percent and the Netherlands remained at 68.6 percent. Spam levels in Australia were 62.2 percent, 69.8 percent in China and 66.2 percent in Japan.
  • Virus activity fell across almost all regions in April, with the largest decrease in India at 0.69 percent, which takes it out of the top five targeted countries. Despite a decrease of 0.62 percent, Switzerland remains the most targeted country for viruses with levels of 1 in 119.8 emails.
  • Virus levels for the US were 1 in 365.1 and 1 in 146.7 for Canada. In the UK, virus levels were 1 in 147.9 and 1 in 348.3 for Germany. In Australia, virus levels were 1 in 317.4 and 1 in 782 for Japan.

Vertical Trends:

  • Spam levels fluctuated across several industry sectors in April, with Manufacturing remaining the top vertical for spam activity at 82 percent. The greatest rise was noted in the Accomodation and Catering sector, where spam levels rose by 5.06 percent to 79.5 percent.
  • Spam levels for the Retail sector were 75 percent, 70.8 percent for Public Sector and 68 percent for Finance.
  • Virus levels fell across many industry verticals during April. Despite a drop of 0.07 percent, Accomodation and Catering claimed the most virus activity with 1 in 62.4 emails infected.
  • Virus levels for the the Finance sector were 1 in 326.8, 1 in 273.5 for IT Services and 295.7 for Retail.<0li>

Source: MessageLabs Intelligence Report for April 2008.


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