One such factor that may cause an increase in spam levels in the months to come is the emergence of spam originating from countries that had not previously been known for sending spam. For instance, Barracuda Central’s top 10 spam countries list ranks Brazil (6.77%) and Turkey (4.24%) in the second and fifth spots respectively.
Analysis of data from the more than one billion daily emails received by Barracuda Spam Firewalls found that identity obfuscation techniques were prevalent in a vast majority of spam campaigns sent in 2008. Hacked Web sites, the use of free hosting providers, as well as the rotation of new Web domains within the same campaign were all techniques that played major roles in hiding the identities of spammers in 2008.
In addition to botnet proliferation and identity obfuscation techniques, clever socially engineered phishing emails also continued to be a dominant force in 2008. In just the last quarter, several spam campaigns increased the use of trusted brands such as Microsoft and Google as well as more consumer-centric brands like Hallmark and McDonald’s in attempts to lure recipients into providing personal account information, or as an attempt to persuade users to execute potentially malicious downloads onto their PCs.
Stephen Pao, VP of product management for Barracuda Networks commented:
We believe that the combination of social engineering and sender identity obfuscation techniques will continue to merge, making it even more essential that customers use caution when accessing applications or providing personal information via URLs provided in emails.