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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

Spam by Language

Background and Methodology

The data for this section is based on the analysis of spam processed by the Symantec.cloud Skeptic4 technology. A series of checks are made against the language of the subjects and headers available from the Skeptic knowledgebase.
The analysis for this metric is based on a random sample of 3.5 million spam messages.

Data

Figure C.14. Analysis of the language used in spam emails over time, 2011. Source: Symantec.cloud
Figure C.15. Top-10 non-English languages used in spam emails, by frequency, 2011. Source: Symantec.cloud

Commentary

  • Spam in English still dominates, but has decreased over the year. At the end of 2010, 90% of spam detected was in English, falling to 88.7% by the end of 2011. This indicates a growth in non-English language spam as well as overall spam volumes diminishing over the same period.
  • An email is classified as unknown when there is not enough recognizable text within the body of the email to be able to determine a language, typically because the body only contains a very small amount of HTML code, such as a hyperlink to a website or an image. The use of spam with only images or URLs fell in 2011. Of the percentage of non-English spam approximately half was classified as “unknown” at the end of 2010, falling to 26% by the end of 2011.

4http://www.symanteccloud.com/en/gb/globalthreats/learning_center/what_is_skeptic