The June State of Spam Report highlights the ongoing trend in the decline of image spam first reported last month in the May State of Spam Report. Image spam, which reached a high of 52 percent of overall spam in January, has shown a noticeable decline in most recent months, dropping around 10 percent each month in March and April to just 16 percent in May. One reason for the drop image spam is that spammers are always going to follow the money. The drop in image spam over the last two months tells us they think they can find a more effective way to get their messages into inboxes. While we have seen this decrease in image spam, the percentage of overall spam continues to remain the same at an average around 65 percent of email traffic for May.
While image spam continues to show a marked decline, spammers are implementing new tactics for driving traffic to images. One trend we have noticed is an increase in spam that uses links and embedded URLs to reference images hosted elsewhere. This particular tactic is very similar to the traditional image spam, but whereas traditional image spam consisted of a raw image embedded in the body of the spam message, this new tactic embeds links to image hosting sites to reference the spam images.
Additional highlights in the June State of Spam Report include:
• Scams and fraud spam on the rise. Combined, these two categories of spam continued to rise from 9 percent in March to 13 percent in May. This upward trend is indicative of the continued shift in spammer behavior to targeted, financially-motivated attacks and the success that they are generating.
• Spam trends in Asia Pacific and Japan (APJ). This regional focus sheds light on the differences in the percentage of spam in specific categories we have seen globally and that is local to APJ. While the percentage of spam in specific categories seen in APJ is very similar to the global market, there are a few exceptions. The two main exceptions are the higher percentage of scams and the lower percentage of health-related spam seen in APJ. One reason for the higher percentage of scams is a spam type referred to as ‘invoice spam’ which is unique to the APJ region. The purpose of this spam is to create fake invoices from a ‘legitimate’ company and sell them to generate a profit. These invoices come complete with directions on how to complete the transaction.
For additional insights into these highlights, as well as graphics and samples, refer to the June State of Spam Report.