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Spammers fight back

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During February the amount of unsolicited mail traffic increased by 1,1 percentage points and averaged 78,7%, according to Kaspersky Labs' spam report for the month.

“Spammers are gradually regaining their position following the closure of major botnets in the second half of last year, and we foresee a return to spam levels of 81% to 82% by April-May 2011,” says Maria Namestnikova, senior spam analyst at Kaspersky Lab.
India remained the leading source of spam in February, accounting for 8,83% of all spam traffic – a drop of 1,02 percentage points compared to January. Almost half as much spam came from Russia – the second biggest source – compared to the previous month after a drop of 4,26 percentage points. Brazil rose to third place ( adding 0,41 percentage points) and Indonesia moved up one place to fourth ( with a drop of 0,39 percentage points). Newcomer to the top five, South Korea climbed six places to claim fifth place following a rise of 1,4 percentage points compared to the previous month. Italy, meanwhile, dropped to sixth place (a drop of 0,78 percentage points).
The US may only have ended the month as the eighth biggest source of spam, but it should be noted that there is a gradual increase in the amount of spam traffic coming from the country. After the closure of the Pushdo/Сutwail botnet in August 2010, the volume of spam emanating from the US fell considerably with record-low levels at the end of last year (approximately 1% to 1,5% from October to December). In February, that figure reached its highest level in four months – 4,27% – and it looks like it will continue to rise over the next few months.
Malicious files were found in 3,18% of all emails in February, a rise of 0,43 percentage points compared with the previous month.
Most of the malicious programs in February’s rating can be split into two groups. The first group consists of mail worms whose primary function is to harvest email addresses to continue propagating. Some of these worms also install other malicious programs on infected systems. The second group of malware consists of programs designed to steal confidential information, primarily of a financial nature. February’s rating also included a malicious program capable of disabling victim computers and demanding payment to restore access to them.