India was third largest source of spam emails in 2016: Kaspersky

By : |February 23, 2017 0

Sending an alarming reminder to all the e-mail users, Kaspersky has published a report which affirms the growing popularity of spam mails with ransomware.

Kaspersky’s Spam and phishing in 2016 report revealed that the fourth quarter of 2016 witnessed an expanding volume of spam emails making up 58 percent of overall email traffic, three percent more than 2015. The report also says that a fifth of all spam emails carried ransomware with them.

India, claimed the third spot in being the biggest source of spam with 10.15 percent, while US and Vietnam were at the first and second position with 12 percent and 10.3 percent respectively. The report is blaming the botnets organised in the region for such a dramatic increase of spam email in India.

Darya Gudkova, the Spam analyst expert at Kaspersky Lab, said, “2016 saw a variety of changes in spam flows, with an increase in the number of malicious mass mailings containing ransomware being the most significant. Such an extensive use of ransomware may be due to the availability of this sort of malware on the black market.”

Germany was the most targeted country  with over 14 percent malicious emails. Next in line were Japan with nearly 7.6 percent and China with 7.3 percent.

The report also highlights that the financial sector is the most infected area by ransomware, given the money matters. Kaspersky notes that in 2016 the average proportion of phishing attacks against customers of financial institutions was over 47 percent, up from the 34 percent in 2015.

The report said, “In 2016, fraudulent spam exploited the theme of the main sporting events: the European Football Championship, the Olympic Games in Brazil, as well as the upcoming World Cups in 2018 and 2022. Typically, spammers send out fake notifications of lottery wins linked to one of these events.”

Apart from the sports events, numerous Nigerian letters were sent to users on behalf of state organisation employees and individuals, detailing various stories under the name of ‘terrorism’. Taking advantage of the war and violence — particularly from Syria — spammers, who were projecting themselves as refugees and victims of terrorism, also gained large sums of money to join the ‘movement’.

Kaspersky Lab also identified “Trojan.Win32.Bayrob” as the most popular ransomware which steals personal data. Other ransomware like Locky encryptor, Petya, Cryakl and Shade were also quite widespread.

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