Language of Spam – Templates and Translations for Multilingual Attacks

According to MessageLabs Intelligence report for July, there has been a spike in the spam levels in countries where English is not the primary language. Spammers are becoming multi-lingual by using automated translation services to enable multiple language spam runs. They are targeting countries correctly rather than sending spam to all countries English language.

Reports indicate more than 95 % spam emails in Germany and The Netherlands, an increase by 13% since May. Worldwide in the month of July, most spam is seen to be in English, while 1 in every 20 spam messages, was in non-English.

    Global language of spam

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    1. In Germany, 46.5% of all spam is in German and 2.5% in French.
    2. In The Netherlands, 25% of spam is in the Dutch language.
    3. In France, 53% is in French and 4% in German.
    4. In Japan, 62.3% of the spam is found to be in Oriental non-English languages.
    5. In China, 54.7% of the spam is found to be in Oriental non-English languages.

    Highlights from the report:

    Spam – 89.4% in July (1% decrease since June)

    Viruses – one in 295.2 emails in July contained malware (0.03% decrease since June)

    Phishing – one in 327.6 emails comprised a phishing attack (0.05% decrease since June)

    Malicious websites – 3,618 new sites blocked per day (88.5% increase since June)

    Spam language localization – one in 20 emails is now non-English language

    Michael Jackson’s death – from spam to malware to advance fee fraud scams

    URL-shortened spam – accounting for as much as 6.2% of all spam

    Fourth of July spam -– Waledac botnet attempts to benefit from US festivities

    Spammers are using translation services and templates to easily develop multiple language spam runs, and web-based malware writers take a break as less than 1 %of web malware in July is new. Cyber-criminals continue to use world news and events to their advantage. People have simply been clicking on malicious links within an email and it adds that unsuspecting user to the Waledec botnet. Also, Michael Jackson’s death continues to get attention, from both fans and as well as fraudsters.

    Share your comments on what you think.

    (Source: MessageLabs Press Release)