The percentage of spam in e-mail traffic in June was up 1,4 percentage points and averaged 71,1%. Malicious attachments were found in 1,8% of all e-mails – a drop of 1% point compared to the previous month. 

This is according to Kaspersky Lab, which adds that last month, spammers actively used the name of Steve Jobs, Apple’s founder.

The heading of the unsolicited e-mail invited the recipient to get to know the secret of the famous businessman’s success, but the body of message contained an advert for free training sessions. Its organisers promised in just 1,5 hours to teach everybody how to make a profitable business out of a hobby. Steve Jobs was used to attract attention to the training.

In addition to the offers of training courses promising to disclose the secret of Steve Jobs’ success, much of Junes spam offered huge discounts on Apple devices. To make the mailing look more legitimate, the scammers entered the name of the company in the “from” field, though the e-mail address has nothing to do with Apple.

The authors of these e-mails stressed that there was a limited quantity of goods and it was essential to snap them up right away. This widespread trick was used to encourage the user to make a quick decision and thus to click the link and order the goods.

Yet another theme exploited by spammers was offers of admission to US universities as well as offers of online education at the user’s convenience. These e-mails often included links to pages with application forms for the course. Interestingly, the addresses of the web pages vary from e-mail to e-mail and are often created on the day the mailing is sent.

This is probably how the authors of the mass mailing collect personal user data.

“In June, spammers continued to use familiar tricks. In particular, we recorded several mass mailings advertising both conventional and electronic cigarettes where the organisers used the Google Translate service to process spam links.

“Moreover, the spammers added a randomly generated set of letters and names of Google domains in different languages to the end of links,” says Tatyana Shcherbakova, senior spam analyst at Kaspersky Lab.
As before, a significant part of the world’s spam came from China (24%) and the US (17%). South Korea came 3rd with 14% of all distributed spam.

South Korea remained the leading source of spam sent to European users (53,3%): its share grew by 9,6 percentage points. The US (4,6%) and Vietnam (3,7%) moved down to fourth and fifth positions yielding to Italy (6,7%) and Taiwan (5%) respectively. Italy’s figure grew by 3,9 percentage points compared with May when this country was only seventh in the rating.

Malicious attachments were found in 1,8% of all e-mails. As in the previous month, the scammers often used their favourite trick – notifications sent on behalf of well-known companies.

In June, the number of attacks targeting E-mail and IMS increased drastically, because in the summer holidays (in Europe) the number of e-mail users and the users of such programs as ICQ, Jabber and Skype grows. There is substantial demand for accounts of this type on the black market, which encourages phishers to try to grab login details for them.