Spam up in August, despite PDF type's short life

It was also a big month for e-greeting spam

August was a busy month for spammers, with junk e-mail levels reaching nearly 70 percent of all messages sent -- despite the quick decline of a new type of spam.

According to Symantec's monthly spam report for August, unwanted e-mail accounted for 69 percent of all mail sent, up 3 percent from July. Spam volumes are creeping up toward the levels reached last October when image spam -- spam messages embedded in image files that spam filters initially couldn't read -- inflated junk mail to 73 percent of all messages sent.

In August, image spam had little impact, accounting for less than 10 percent of all spam sent, according to Symantec.

Last month also saw the dramatic rise of PDF spam, e-mail messages with a PDF attached -- which most spam filters can't read -- that usually attempted to convince the recipient to purchase stocks. First spotted by Symantec in June, PDF spam accounted for 20 percent of all spam at its peak in mid-August.

Spammers quickly retreated from the technique, however, bringing its end-of-the-month level to less than 1 percent of all spam.

Symantec's take is that spammers have backed off from sending PDF spam to tweak the technique -- in essence reloading their spam blasters -- or have decided this form of spam isn't working and have gone back to the drawing board.

Officials at Sophos, another security vendor, agree with the theory that PDF spam was more trouble than it was worth for recipients -- since they had to actually open an attachment to read the message -- and so spammers weren't getting the desired results from the technique. Sophos says that e-mail users are hesitant to open e-mail attachments from unknown senders.

August also was a big month for e-greeting spam, messages that point recipients to a Web site where they promise an electronic greeting will be waiting - but malware is downloaded. There was also a spam blast that promised to bring recipients to the popular YouTube site to see a video of themselves, but instead linked them to a malware-laden site.

Both these blasts were powered by the Storm worm.

Join the newsletter!

Or
Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Cara Garretson

Network World
Show Comments

Essentials

Mobile

Sansai 6-Outlet Power Board + 4-Port USB Charging Station

Learn more >

Exec

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?