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Symantec Intelligence

August MessageLabs Intelligence spam, phishing and virus rates

Created: 15 Sep 2009 • Updated: 15 Sep 2009
Daren Lewis's picture
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Spam: In August 2009, the global ratio of spam in email traffic was down by 0.9% from the previous month at 88.5% (1 in 1.13 emails).

Hong Kong was the most spammed country in August although levels fell by 0.8% to 93.4% Spam levels in the US and Canada rose to 89.5% and 88.7% respectively. The majority of other countries saw a decline in August with levels in the UK falling to 91.6%, Germany to 90.4%, France to 90.7%, and The Netherlands to 86.3%. Levels in Australia and Japan declined to 90.6% and 89.2% respectively.

Anti-Virus and Trojans: The global ratio of email-borne viruses in email traffic was 1 in 296.6 emails (0.34%) in August, almost unchanged since July.

In August, 14.8% of email-borne malware contained links to malicious websites, a decrease of 0.4% since July. Spoofed postcard mails were responsible for 21.3% of malicious links in August.


Although virus activity in China declined to 1 in 196.9 emails, it was placed at the top of the virus table for August. Singapore and Switzerland maintained their position in the top 5 countries with virus levels of 1 in 196.9 and 1 in 214.0 emails respectively. The UK, with levels of 1 in 219.3 and UAE with levels of 1 in 228.7 emails completed the top 5 virus affected countries for August.

Virus activity increased in Germany and The Netherlands with levels of 1 in 275.5 emails and 1 in 612.18 emails respectively. In the US levels decreased slightly to 1 in 387.1 and increased in Canada with levels reaching 1 in 309.9. July’s most affected country, Australia, became the 12th most affected in August with levels of 1 in 308.3. In Hong Kong virus activity was 1 in 297.7 emails and in Japan it increased to 1 in 400.76 emails.

Phishing: August saw the level of phishing attacks compared with July fall by 0.01%, with 1 in 341.2 (0.29%) emails comprising 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 fell by 6.0% to 86.9% of all email-borne malware and phishing threats intercepted in August.


Read the entire report  or listen to the podcast.