Kaspersky Lab has released its latest Spam and Phishing Report, which indicated that while the number of spam emails are now lower, there are more that are of malicious nature. According to the report, Kaspersky Lab products have stopped over 22 million attempts to infect users through emails in March 2016 alone.
In addition, the number of spam emails with malicious attachments in the first quarter of this year is 3.3 times greater than it was in the same period last year. At the same time, there’s a significant increase in ransomware, which usually moves around through emails as infected attachments. In the first quarter this year, the number one ransomware would be the Trojan Locky. Locky has been active for months, distributed through emails in many languages and has hit victims in at least 114 countries.
According to Kaspersky Lab, spam is becoming increasingly popular for cybercriminals aiming to make money through their malware. This is caused by the increased security in web browsing, which has reduced the click-through rates for phishing. In fact, popular web browsers mostly have built-in security and anti-phishing tools, making it harder for malware to infect users through websites.
Darya Gudkova, who is a Spam Analysis Expert at Kaspersky Lab, is expecting that this growing trend will rise to a dangerous level. “Unfortunately we are seeing our previous predictions about the criminalization of spam coming true. Fraudsters are using diverse methods to attract user attention, and to make them drop their guard. Spammers are employing a diversity of languages, social engineering methods, different types of malicious attachments, as well as the partial personalization of email text to look more convincing. The fake messages often imitate notifications from well-known organizations and services,” she said.