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Spam trend report from McAfee

McAfee : 13 January, 2009  (Technical Article)
Report available from McAfee highlighting key directions taken by spammers during the last quarter of 2008 and predicts their direction for 2009
McAfee has issued a report that examines key spam trends over the past few months and forecasts future spam trends that might arise in early 2009. The report also offers statistics and visuals depicting these trends. Some snapshots from the report:

2008 Trends:

- In 2008, spammers made use of the race for the US presidency and growing unemployment rates to generate attacks disguised as "Obama videos" or links to low-cost diplomas.
- Spam advertising credit cards, credit checks or dealing with bad credit has recently increased, particularly around the holidays.
- The McColo bust initially caused a 65% decrease in global spam and spam levels are still not back to normal.

2009 Predictions:

- In 2009, spammers will increasingly abuse the free webhosting/blogging abilities that don't require the purchase of a domain name.
- Corporate blackmailing will increase in 2009, with sensitive personal and company information being sold in greater quantities on the black market.
- Do-it-yourself home business scams will offer new bait for the unemployed.
- Hosting companies will be set up in countries eager to replace the spammers formerly hosted by McColo.

"Spammers have become smarter, quicker and more professional with their attacks and are leveraging what's in the news more than ever to tailor their messaging," said Jeff Green, senior vice president, McAfee Avert Labs. "With more people out of work or self employed going into 2009, beware of communication offering low-cost degrees and do-it-yourself kits as well as any requests for financial information from what looks like your bank, school or investment firm."
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