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Wikileaks fuels December spam increaseBy Johan Keyter 31 January 2011 | Categories: news
According to Kaspersky Lab's latest spam report, spammers this past holiday season again used the Christmas and New Year's themes to send out messages, but also preyed heavily on the public's interest in the Wikileaks saga.
Kasperksy Lab's spam analysts registered several scam mass mailings which urged users to spread Wikileaks links “in the name of democracy”. Purveyors of spam also used the Wikileaks name to bypass spam filters, inserting quotes from the Wikileaks website into posts to make them seem more legitimate.
“Spam is usually dominated by the Christmas and New Year holiday theme in December, but in 2010 it had to share the limelight with WikiLeaks, which once again underlines just how serious the scandal surrounding the website was at the end of the year,” commented Maria Namestnikova, senior spam analyst at Kaspersky Lab.
The overall spam picture remained largely the same around the world, as India kept its spot as the number one spam producer, accounting for 9.9% of the globe's total volume. Russia came in second place (8.5%), Italy in third (4.8%), Vietnam in fourth (4.7%) and Brazil completed the top five with a 4.4% share of its own.
During the month the amount of spam originating from Western Europe decreased heavily though, with a 1.6% overall drop recorded for the continent.
The war on botnets also took a substantial step last month, with criminal proceedings being instigated in the USA against Russian citizen Oleg Nikolaenko, suspected of creating the Mega-D zombie network, also known as Ozdok.
A botnet is usually a large number of computers infected with malicious software without their owners’ knowledge. When needed, a single person can activate the malicious software and proceed to control a network of sometimes millions of computers.
The botnet was used to distribute spam containing ads for medications and fake designer goods and it is claimed that at its peak the network could distribute between 30 and 35% of the world's spam.
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