Commtouch Q1 Internet Threats Trend Report Highlights Strong Increase in Spam and Dangerous Email
100 billion spam and 1 billion malware emails daily – Pump and dump spam returns with a vengeance
MCLEAN, Virginia, May 1, 2013 /PRNewswire/ –
Unwanted and dangerous email increased dramatically in the first quarter of 2013,
according to a Q1 Internet Threats Trend Report issued by Commtouch(R) (NASDAQ: CTCH), a
leading provider of Internet security technology and cloud-based services. During the
first quarter of 2013, an average of 97.4 billion spam emails and 973 million malware
emails were sent worldwide each day. In March, the number of daily spam emails
significantly exceeded the 100 billion mark (117.8 billion).
Spam levels doubled between December 2012 and March 2013, a 98 percent increase.
Phishing also increased dramatically, with the number of phishing emails swelling to more
than 74 percent in March, compared to the previous December. The largest increase,
however, could be observed with email-borne malware: levels of emails carrying known
malware were 157 percent higher in March than in December. For virus outbreaks, the
increase was a stunning 290 percent.
The biggest part of this growth occurred in March. Compared to February, spam levels
increased by 41 percent, known malware by 75 percent, and virus outbreaks by 124 percent.
Only phishing volumes broke the trend, as they only increased by eight percent in March.
The current increase is unusual in that historically spam and malware levels rarely
correspond. In the past, when one category increased, the other often decreased or at
least stagnated. The significance of the first quarter growth is underlined by comparisons
with the respective volumes in March 2012: In March 2013, spam levels were 48 percent
higher than the previous year, malware emails were 255 percent higher, and malware
outbreaks were 251 percent higher. Only phishing levels decreased since March 2012.
Other report highlights:
“The dramatic rise in the quantity of unwanted and dangerous emails during the first
quarter of 2013 shows that email communication is still one of the key attack vectors,”
said Avi Turiel, director of threat research and market analysis at Commtouch. “Email is
still the most popular communication tool for private users and businesses alike, making
it an attractive target for cybercriminals. The rise in both emails with malware
attachments and drive-by-attacks also indicates that malware distributors don’t shift
their focus from one attack vector to another. To the contrary, they diversify their
attack methods in order to increase the efficiency of their campaigns and in order to
bypass some anti-spam and antivirus measures.”
The Commtouch Internet Threat Analysis Team regularly publishes related statistics
within its report. The quarterly report is compiled based on a comprehensive analysis of
billions of daily transactions handled by Commtouch’s GlobalView(TM) Cloud
To view the Commtouch Q1 Internet Threats Trend Report, visit:
Commtouch(R) (NASDAQ: CTCH) is a leading provider of Internet security technology and
cloud-based services for vendors and service providers, increasing the value and
profitability of our customer’s solutions by protecting billions of Internet transactions
on a daily basis. With 12 global data centers and award-winning, patented technology,
Commtouch’s email, Web, and antivirus capabilities easily integrate into our customers’
products and solutions, keeping safe more than 350 million end users. To learn more, visit
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