Spam levels remained low in the first quarter of 2012, relative to the same period last year, averaging 75% of all e-mails sent. Levels of email-attached malware were also found to be low in the quarter.

This is according to Cyberoam’s April 2012 Internet Threats Trend Report, prepare in collaboration with Commtouch.

However, pharmacy spam increased once again, as it did last quarter, and Replica-themed spam also increased in the first quarter of the year by over 5%.

A new approach seen this quarter was specific social engineering campaigns focused on the US tax season which targeted both consumers and members of the accounting profession.

Facebook, as usual, remained a popular outlet for attacks. This time the attacks were with a social engineering campaign featuring “an unwatchable video”. Several variants of this scam appeared on Facebook in the last few months.

Abhilash Sonwane, senior vice-president: product management at Cyberoam, comments: “The spamming of Facebook, with such video posts shows the importance attackers are giving on specific social engineering campaigns. Attackers are finding out common social issues to hit on and grab the maximum gain of it.”

The report also talked about e-mails carrying malware links being hosted on compromised websites or such sites being used as a platform for redirection.

Having observed the phenomenon of hacked websites for some time, the report presents statistics and opinions on how site owners navigate the process of learning their sites have being hacked and repairing the damage. Data from the poll reveals that malicious actors are often able to compromise legitimate websites without the site owners’ knowledge.