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Symantec Intelligence

2011 Trends: Global Spam

Created: 22 Nov 2010
Daren Lewis's picture
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On December 7 we will release our MessageLabs Intelligence 2010 Annual Security Report looking back at the changes in the threat landscape during 2010. As is our standard practice we also use the opportunity to look ahead at potential trends for next year. In the days before we publish our report we will share a few of these trends.

Global Spam Trends
In 2011, spam will become more culturally and linguistically diverse.  The use of English in spam will fall from approximately 95% of all spam to below 90% driven by economic growth and broadband adoption in emerging economies. For instance, spammers will target Brazil with more than 40 percent of spam in Portuguese. 

Portuguese and Spanish will become some of the most popular languages used in spam other than English. We expect Italy to receive 20-25% of spam in Italian, France to receive 15-20% French language spam and Germany will find 10-15% of its spam in German. China will receive 10-15% of spam in Chinese and spam in Japan will be 10-15% in Japanese. Arabic language spam will increase in the Middle East, for example Saudi Arabia will receive 10% of its spam in Arabic.

Likewise, as the internet population in East African countries continues to rise, we predict that spam from these countries, such as Kenya will increase sending up to twice as much spam in 2011 as in 2010 driven by botnet domination. Spam sent from Africa will account for almost 5% of all spam by the end of 2011.

Contributions to the global spam landscape will also continue to shift geographically. The amount of spam sent from European countries will increase to 40-45% of all spam.  Much of the shift will be due to an increase in spam from Eastern European countries, from the current 50% of spam from Europe to more than 70% in 2011. Spam sent from South America which will account for 10-15% of all spam. North America will remain on par with around 10% of spam sent from the region, and Asia will remain relatively unchanged with around 35% of spam sent from the region.

Tomorrow: Distributed Workforce Drives Security Policies