Q1 2009: 302,000 computers infected with malware to redistribute spam

PandaLabs announced that less than seven percent of emails that reached companies in the first quarter of 2009 were legitimate correspondence.

Some 91 percent of messages were spam, while 1.6 percent, or more than 1.1 million messages, were infected with some type of malware. This data is based on the analysis by TrustLayer Mail which examined 69 million email messages sent in the first quarter of 2009.

The amount of spam detected between January and March 2009 has increased slightly with respect to the same period in 2008, when spam accounted for 90 percent of the email received by companies. With respect to the different types of spam, the amount of junk mail related to false job offers rose significantly, probably due to the global recession and associated unemployment rates.

Included below are highlights of recent findings in Q109:

  • Approximately 302,000 computers were newly infected and turned into zombies to redistribute spam.
  • The U.S. remains the leading source of spam during the first quarter of 2009, accounting for 11.6 percent of the total, followed by Brazil (11.5 percent) and Romania (5.8 percent).
  • Twitter has been heavily targeted by cyber-crooks as a platform for launching phishing attacks. Attackers prey on peoples’ curiosity by sending them a direct message telling them that there is a post about them or an image of them on a blog. When users click on the link, they are redirected to a spoof Twitter page. If users enter their Twitter credentials on this page, their data will fall into the hands of cyber-crooks who then use the accounts to send spam.

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