Spam levels plummet as industry takes aim at botnets

22.01.2013, von John E Dunn

Global spam levels continued to fall in 2012 and even the number of malicious attachments was on the wane, have suggested.

The fall is relative of course; even with an eight-point drop, spam continued still accounted for a staggering 72 percent of all email during the year, equivalent to tens of trillions of messages moving uselessly and malevolently across the Internet every year.

The drop was consistent throughout the year, falling month-on-month, eventually dipping below the 70 percent threshold in the final three months of the year, Kaspersky said.

What is clear is that the exact percentage of spam sent to a user or network varies by country and region, with Asia now accounting for a disproportionate level of activity.

In terms of distribution, China heads the table with one in five of all spam messages sent, ahead of the US with 15.6 percent; Latin America and Europe both dropped. Asia as a whole now accounts for half of all jump email.

Malicious attachments were down slightly to 3.4 percent, although this does not include those with embedded links.