Spam Data Trends from Google/Postini

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Google has released an overview of spam trends and events for the first quarter of 2009, and it makes for some fascinating reading.

Thanks to its Postini acquisition, which now powers Google's security and archiving service, some strong insights can be gained into the minds and actions of spammers.

Spam has returned to levels not seen since before the blocking of the McColo ISP in November 2008. The volume of spam grew in the first quarter, increasing an average of 1.2% per day.

Location-based spam, a new variety, has emerged. Users click on a link in a spam message and are directed to a page that contains fraudulent news headlines describing a crisis or disaster in a major city nearnby, determined by the geolocation of the user's source IP. Users are prompted to click on embedded videos which in turn downloads a virus.

Payload viruses (spam messages with attached viruses) have spread out from primarily Sunday-based attacks to every day of the week with no known pattern. Payload viruses also saw an increase of nine-fold in March from their February numbers.

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