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4 Scary Spamming Statistics

posted on March 23, 2016

4 (1)Spam, it’s the email we hate. Email spam has been around since the beginning of email, and it accounts for 14.5 billion messages per day, which is 45% of all emails sent. Although spam may seem harmless, it can be very dangerous and should be taken seriously. Not only does it fill up your inbox, but it can allow hackers to receive your personal information.

Accessing private information is the purpose of most email spam. This can range from your name, address, phone number, and email address, to information stored on your computer such as business files or documents. Many of the large companies that have had recent data breaches, had spam enter through an email and someone internally clicked a link or forwarded that email on. By doing this, software was downloaded to their computer and was passed on to other connected devices, allowing the hackers to access various forms of internal information.

There are many variations of spam that range beyond email spam and will continue to increase. For example, in 2015 Google changed their search algorithm formula used to determine which pages will be displayed at the top of search results. Hackers were able to use this change to their advantage and use inserted links to boost search result rankings. Google is working to combat this type of spam so search results stay relevant for searchers. You can find more spamming statistics and facts below.

4 Major Statistics From 2015
1. The most popular type of email spam is advertising related, and accounts for 36% of all spam. Spammers have been using IP addresses instead of domain names in links to advertising resources. They modify the IP address to increase the number of possible variations in a mass mailing. Normally your email’s spam filter would divert these messages from ever hitting your inbox, but the variations allow the spam to slip through the cracks.

2. The top three sources of spam in 2015 were the U.S. (14.59%), Russia (7.82%), and China (7.14%). In 2015, many spammers took advantage of the new changes in Google’s algorithm and we saw a significant increase in spam relating to Search Engine Optimization (SEO). The most common known method of SEO spam is bait and switch hacking. Websites are filled with new pages and links about subjects that relate to commonly searched topics on Google, but not necessarily related to the website’s usual content. These links are hidden and cannot be seen when a searcher visits the website, but Google sees them and propels the webpage to the top of the search results. When a searcher clicks on the search result they are directed to a different website than what was shown originally in the result. Some businesses paid for this service and fell victim to spam, hoping it would propel them to the top of the search results. Other websites, some with well-known brand names, have had their content stolen by hackers and inserted into other websites to gain credibility in search results.
(Secure List)

3. The proportion of spam in email traffic was at an all-time high in January of 2015 at 61.9%. This percentage decreased through the end of 2015 and remained monthly between 52-56%. (Secure List)

                                             (Secure List)spam stats chart

4. Trojan-Spy.HTML.Fraud.gen topped the rating of malicious programs sent by email. According to Secure List, this program is a fake HTML page that is sent via email imitating an important message from banks, online stores, and other well known and trusted brands. It tricks you into entering personal information which is then forwarded to cyber criminals.

For more information about email spam and information security, contact the team at Stellar Blue  today!

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