S'pore spam rate crosses global average

Country's spam levels surpassed the global rate of 89.4 percent in July, after dipping below earlier in April, according to MessageLabs' latest security report.
Written by Victoria Ho, Contributor

Singapore's spam rate crossed the global average again in July, after it had dipped below the global rate earlier in April, according to MessageLabs' latest report.

The island-state's spam rate for July stood at 91.9 percent, compared to the global rate of 89.4 percent, the Symantec-owned company said. In June, Singapore had recorded a spam rate of 86.2 percent, against the global average at 90.4 percent.

MessageLabs said language translation tools were contributing to the "unprecedented" levels of spam globally, especially that of non-English speaking countries. Local language spam accounted for 54.7 percent of total unsolicited messages in China, for example.

"Non-English spam now accounts for one in every 20 spam messages, a figure we'll be closely monitoring to see if spammers continue with their global expansion," Paul Wood, MessageLabs intelligence senior analyst at Symantec, said Wednesday in a statement.

Germany recorded the most spam globally, with spam levels reaching 97.5 percent. At No. 2 was the Netherlands with a spam rate of 95.7 percent.

The use of shortened URLs to hide malicious addresses has also skyrocketed, the security vendor said, adding that there were three spam bursts relating to this technique in July. When gauged against the peak of spam on July 9, the three rounds accounted for 6.2 percent of the total unsolicited mail--equivalent of nine billion spam messages.

MessageLabs reported on this trend earlier this month, where a "dramatic spike" was noticed in spam containing these truncated Web addresses.

The popularity of shortened URLs has been boosted by their use in social networking sites, which rely on them due to character restrictions. According to MessageLabs, one of the main culprits using this technique is Donbot, which has sent some five billion spam messages daily via shortened URLs.

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