While many will have taken a break over the summer months, spam writers were hard at work plying their craft. That's the warning from AppRiver, the cloud-based email and Web security specialist, in its latest Global Threatstate Report. It quarantined almost 3.5 billion spam messages during the month of August - the highest level of spam traffic that it has seen since early 2011. While AppRiver's researchers couldn't pinpoint an exact driver for the rise, what was noticeable is that a high percentage of messages were offering weight loss cures. Could global obesity problems translate to big bucks for spammers?
The report reveals that just over a quarter of all spam originated from The United States - a whopping 418,874,417 pieces in the month of August. However, Europe still claimed the number one spot with 31.7%. Making their first appearances in the 'Top 10 Countries of Origin' were Germany and Mexico, responsible for 104,145,829 and 96,151,887 articles of spam respectively.
Jon French, security analyst for AppRiver, explains, "It's always worrying to see an upward trend in spam traffic as the law of averages increases in tandem, meaning just a tiny percentage need to be duped by a criminal's gambit to result in a staggering number of victims. There are theories for why we've seen this spike in activity during August - for example, writers may be trying to take advantage of colleagues monitoring unfamiliar inboxes and presenting an easier target as a result. Regardless of whatever drives the increase is almost irrelevant - preventing these messages landing in the inbox in the first place has to be the primary aim."