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Security Response

The State of Spam: A Monthly Report – February

Created: 13 Feb 2007 08:00:00 GMT • Updated: 23 Jan 2014 18:52:38 GMT
Kelly Conley's picture
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It seems like only yesterday I was blogging about a new spam report that Symantec Messaging and the Web Security team have published regarding the state of spam. Now, the February report is online, which gives a good overview of spam activity in January of 2007.

This issue highlights several interesting trends. While spam continues to be a high percentage of all email, there was a slight reduction of spam in January to approximately 69 percent. The technique du jour, image spam, reached a high in January, but ended the month around 30 percent. It's amazing to think that 30 percent of the total spam volume is image spam. We look at it every day, and still it continues to arrive, most notably in emails for penny stock and fake Rolex.

Have you noticed a decline in adult-oriented email lately? So have we. Once consistently in the top categories of spam, it has declined to become one of the less frequently observed spam types. Financial, health, and product spam hold the seats as the most often seen spam types by Symantec these days.

An old spamming technique has resurfaced with a new spin. Spammers are using "ASCII Art" in an HTML format. This technique is defined by Wikipedia as "an artistic medium that relies primarily on computers for presentation and consists of pictures pieced together from the 95 printable characters defined by ASCII." Most people have seen this at one time or another, whether it be in spam or in a person's email signature. The cute little pictures that people use ASCII characters to create are now being used by spammers and inserted into email messages to generate words and graphic images. You can see an example of this in February's State of Spam Report.

Above, I’ve highlighted some of the points included in the State of Spam, but I encourage everyone to head over to our whitepaper section for more information. If you’re interested in spam you’ll want to see this report.