MessageLabs’ monthly Intelligence Report for April 2009 indicates that spam levels have spiked in 2009, climbing well above 85 percent, higher than it has been since 2007. Most of these are new image-based spam emails originating in China. Rather than including the images within the email as an attachment, the malicious images are hosted on a remote site and linked to by the email.
Usually, the email will claim to be from Facebook or another service that might have personal information about the user. Upon clicking on the link, the user is transported to a web site that appears to match the email’s claims but is actually redirects them to a .cn (China) domain.
One in 304 emails contains a virus and one in 404 emails is a phishing attack, the report says. The danger of malicious web sites is much higher. On average 3,561 new malware websites are setup daily.
The United Kingdom is the most spammed country in the world with spam levels reaching 94 percent of all email, followed by China (90%), Hong Kong (89%), Australia (88%), Japan (86%), Germany (83%), the US (79%), the Netherlands (78%), and Canada (77%).