Spam in Q1 2014: New Trends Emerge and the United States Is Once Again the Top Target
Woburn, MA – May 6, 2014 – Kaspersky
Lab today released its quarterly
spam report for the first quarter of 2014, which showed a new trend in spammers
imitating messages from mobile applications, such ask WhatsApp, Viber and
Google Hangouts. The report also highlights how the United States moved back to
the top spot for countries targeted by spam. Although the overall amount of
spam in the first quarter did not increase, the quarter showed an emergence of new spam trends.
The percentage of spam in total email traffic during the first quarter of
this year was 66.34 percent, a decrease of 6.42 percent from the fourth quarter
of 2013. However, compared to Q1 of 2013, the share of spam in Q1 of 2014 remained
largely unchanged, falling by only 0.16 percent. Instead of increasing, spam in the
first quarter exemplified how cybercriminals are now beginning to spread fake notifications from mobile
allegedly sent from cross-platform mobile applications like
WhatsApp were used to spread both malware and harmless advertisements.
The top three spam sources remained
unchanged from the previous quarter, with China (-0.34 percent), the U.S.
(+1.23 percent) and South Korea (-0.91 percent).
However, the list of countries most
frequently targeted by malicious emails changed since last quarter. The amount
of spam that targeted the United States was 14 percent, a 3.68 percent increase
while the United Kingdom (9.9 percent) and Germany (9.6 percent) decreased by
2.27 and 1.34 percentage points respectively. As a result, the U.S., which was
third in the previous quarter, returned to the top of the rating in Q1 2014.
attachments in email
The main goal of most malicious
programs distributed via email is to steal confidential data. However, in Q1
malware capable of spreading spam and launching DDoS attacks was also popular.
Most popular malicious programs are now multifunctional: they can steal data
from a victim’s computer, make the computer part of a botnet, or download and
install other malicious programs without the user’s knowledge.
Head of Content Analysis & Research Department
Kaspersky Lab “Recently we
have seen a growth in the number of attacks targeting mobile users. Gadgets
have become popular even among those who had little interaction with computers
and are less familiar with computer security. This opens up new vectors of
attacks for spammers and phishers. To protect themselves, users should remember
not to open emails from unknown senders and especially not to click any links
in these emails, which inevitably pose a risk to user security. Clicking unsafe
links threatens user security regardless of which device is used – they pose a
danger to desktop computers and mobile gadgets alike.”
About Kaspersky Lab Kaspersky Lab is the world’s largest privately held vendor of endpoint
protection solutions. The company is ranked among the world’s top four vendors
of security solutions for endpoint users*. Throughout its more than 16-year
history Kaspersky Lab has remained an innovator in IT security and provides
effective digital security solutions for large enterprises, SMBs and consumers.
Kaspersky Lab, with its holding company registered in the United Kingdom,
currently operates in almost 200 countries and territories across the globe,
providing protection for over 300 million users worldwide. Learn more at www.kaspersky.com.
* The company was rated fourth in the IDC rating
Worldwide Endpoint Security Revenue by Vendor, 2011. The rating was published
in the IDC report "Worldwide Endpoint Security 2012–2016 Forecast and 2011
Vendor Shares (IDC #235930, July 2012). The report ranked software vendors
according to earnings from sales of endpoint security solutions in 2011.
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