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Spam in January: Fake WhatsApp Notifications and Real Stars for Valentine's Day

ABINGDON, England, February 28, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --

Kaspersky Lab has today published the results of the company's spam monitoring for January 2014.

Top 3 stories in January:

  • Detection of emails claiming to be from the popular WhatsApp messenger for smartphones. The messages stated that an attached archive contained a photo from a "friend". The attachment actually contained a malicious program detected by Kaspersky Lab as Backdoor.Win32.Androm.bjkd - a notorious backdoor whose main functionality is to download other malware on the victim's computer and steal personal data.
  • Another popular theme in January was that of video surveillance systems to help secure private and commercial premises. This English-language spam focused on personal safety and the possibility of keeping an eye on husbands and wives, as well as health visitors and workmen in private homes.
  • In the run-up to Valentine's Day, English-language spam also included the traditional 'flower' partner mailings and suggestions for a romantic meal or trip, as well as adverts offering some very unusual gifts such as a real star in the sky.

In January, scammers also continued to send out 'Nigerian' letters exploiting the deaths of former Israeli prime minister, Ariel Sharon, and South Africa's ex-president, Nelson Mandela. One 'Nigerian' letter was supposedly written by the lawyer of the late president's second wife. It stated that his ex-wife and her lawyer needed help to obtain a huge amount of money, gold bars and assistance to invest it. They claimed they were searching for a respectable person who had to be a foreign citizen. Another similar letter claimed to come from Mandela's third wife Graca Marshal. The scammers tried to win the recipient's sympathy with a sad tale about the struggle for his millions within the Mandela family. The fraudsters asked for help in transferring money and keeping it safe in an account belonging to the recipient.

Tatyana Shcherbakova, Senior Spam Analyst at Kaspersky Lab, commented: "Trojan-Spy.html.Fraud.gen remained the most widespread malicious program. It belongs to a family of Trojan programs that use spoofing technology to imitate HTML pages, and are distributed via email in fake notifications from major commercial banks, software developers and e-stores. After opening one of these pages, users enter their login details, which is then passed on to cybercriminals who gain full access to the victims' confidential information."

Key statistics

  • The share of spam in global email traffic decreased by 7.6 percentage points and averaged 65.7 per cent in January. The drop in the proportion of spam was due to a traditional lull in activity at the beginning of the year.

Leader of the month - USA

  • The USA (+3.5 percentage points, 16 per cent) topped the rating of countries with the highest number of mail antivirus, pushing the UK down to second (-3.41 percentage points, 10 per cent). Germany remained third (-0.39 percentage points, 10 per cent).
  • The USA replaced China as the biggest source of spam (21.9 per cent). China's contribution (16 per cent) fell by 7 percentage points, leaving it in second place. South Korea was third once again (12.5 per cent).

The full report is available at securelist.com.

About Kaspersky Lab

Kaspersky Lab is the world's largest privately held vendor of endpoint protection solutions. The company is ranked among the world's top four vendors of security solutions for endpoint users*. Throughout its more than 16-year history Kaspersky Lab has remained an innovator in IT security and provides effective digital security solutions for large enterprises, SMBs and consumers. Kaspersky Lab, with its holding company registered in the United Kingdom, currently operates in almost 200 countries and territories across the globe, providing protection for over 300 million users worldwide. Learn more at http://www.kaspersky.co.uk.

* The company was rated fourth in the IDC rating Worldwide Endpoint Security Revenue by Vendor, 2012. The rating was published in the IDC report "Worldwide Endpoint Security 2013-2017 Forecast and 2012 Vendor Shares (IDC #242618, August 2013). The report ranked software vendors according to earnings from sales of endpoint security solutions in 2012.

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Editorial contact:
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Ruth Knowles
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SOURCE Kaspersky Lab

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