Spam in 2015: Less emails, more mobile

A Kaspersky Lab report into spam in 2015 has revealed a decrease in the number of spam emails and a move to mobile for cybercriminals.

The volume of spam emails decreased by 11.48 per cent in 2015 to 55.28 per cent of overall email traffic, thanks to factors such as the increasing popularity of legal advertising platforms on social networks.

In terms of mobile devices, fake emails and fake notifications from mobile apps containing malware were popular methods amongst cybercriminals, such various new tactics being seen such as spreading malware in the form of .apk (Android executive files) and .jar (ZIP archives containing a program in Java).

Other key 2015 trends include:

  • Germany became the biggest victim of spam, being targeted by 19.06 per cent of all spam attacks, followed by Brazil (7.64 per cent) and Russia (6.03 per cent).
  • The US remained the biggest source of spam with 15.2 per cent.
  • Russia suffered the highest number of phishing attacks, with 17.8 per cent of the global total.

Daria Loseva, Spam Analysis Expert at Kaspersky Lab, said: "The increased use of mobile devices in our everyday life to exchange messages and data, as well as access and control bank accounts, has also resulted in increased exploitation opportunities for cybercriminals. Mobile malware and fraudulent spam is becoming more popular and efforts to dupe victims are becoming more sophisticated year on year, with the emergence of apps that can be used by cybercriminals both directly (for sending out spam, including malicious spam) and indirectly (via phishing emails).

"Mobile device users therefore need to be on their guard and remain vigilant, as cybercriminal activities in this area are only likely to increase, along with our reliance on devices."

Image source: Shutterstock/Feng Yu