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Spam and Fraud Activity Trends

Spam and Fraud Activity Trends | Analysis of Spam Activity Trends | Analysis of Spam Activity by Geography, Industry Sector and Company Size | Analysis of Spam Delivered by Botnets | Spam Botnet Analysis – A Strategic Viewpoint | Significant Spam Tactics | Spam by Language | Spam by Category | Future Spam Trends: BGP Hijacking | Phishing Activity Trends | Analysis of Phishing Activity by Geography, Industry Sector and Company Size

Significant Spam Tactics

Background

This section discusses significant spam tactics used throughout 2010, including the size of spam messages and the languages used in spam emails.

Size of Spam Messages

  • In 2011, 61.0% of spam messages were between 2KB and 5KB in size. For spammers, smaller file sizes mean more messages can be sent using the same resources, typically botnets.
  • Increased sizes are often associated with malicious activity, where email attachments contain malicious executable code.
Figure C.11. Frequency of spam messages by size, 2011. Source: Symantec

Proportion of Spam Messages Containing URLs

  • In 2011, 86.2% of spam messages contained at least one URL hyperlink, compared with 91.1% in 2010, a decrease of 4.9 percentage points.
Figure C.12. Proportion of spam messages containing URLs, 2011. Source: Symantec

Top-Level Domains (TLD) Identified in Spam URLs

  • In 2011, 58.5% of spam URLs was for domains registered in the .com TLD, that is to say, spam URLs that were registered in the .com top-level domain.
  • The second most frequently used TLD was .ru, which is the top-level country code domain for Russian, and accounted for approximately 11.5% of all spam URL domains.
Figure C.13. Analysis of Top-Level Domains used in spam URLs, 2011. Source: Symantec