02 Dec 2010

Study says global spam down, malware holding steady

According to a recent report, spam levels fell around the world in November. However, malware attacks continued to occur at a steady rate.

The November Threat Landscape Report, which was published by an internet security vendor, outlined the month’s web threat statistics. According to the report, spam output fell 12 percent in November, thanks largely to the shutdown of a large portion of the Bredolab network by Dutch authorities. The Bredolab botnet had been used by cybercriminals to send offers for fake pharmaceuticals.

Spam fell by 26 percent immediately after Bredolab was crippled, but it rebounded somewhat thereafter.

Spam also took a hit when the main servers for the Koobface botnet, which attacked Facebook users, were shut down by internet security researchers.

Malware, however, continued to affect computers worldwide. According to the report, the number of distinct malware threats jumped more than 4,000 in October to almost 5,500 in November.

According to the report, the best way to avoid malware is to inspect unknown links carefully and to have up-to-date antivirus and intrusion detection software. The company also warned users to be wary of phishing scams, especially during the holiday shopping season.