PandaLabs announced research revealing overwhelming evidence that cybercriminals are adapting their messaging with changes in the economic landscape. Two weeks ago, PandaLabs reported a staggering correlation between stock market declines and increased malware attacks. Upon further investigating the content of spam campaigns that have experienced the most growth over the last two months, it is evident that cybercriminals have become more sophisticated and are preying on the current economic misfortunes of consumers.
Spam continues to make up 90-95 percent of all email traffic, with spam related to the economy representing ten percent of total spam. Since the stock market began to take a steady decline in September, Cloudmark reported that while overall spam has increased five percent, the new spam related to the economy and personal finances has increased by twice that amount, or 10 percent, during this period. Examples include malware attacks targeting consumers with credit card debt, as well as phishing attacks targeting individuals undergoing property foreclosure.
By offering consumers relief for their financial woes, these attacks dupe users into clicking on links included or embedded in the emails, an action that automatically downloads viruses or redirects them to phishing sites.