The amount of scam phishing emails on the internet rose threefold in Q3 2013 compared to the previous quarter.
Trojan-Spy.HTML.Fraud.gen topped the rating of the most popular malicious program spread by email. This malware is designed to look like an HTML page used as a registration form for online banking services, and is used by phishers to steal financial information.
According to a Kaspersky Lab report, the proportion of malicious spam grew more than 1.5 times during Q3, though the overall volume of spam was down by 2.4 percentage points.
Scammers jumped on the back of top news stories during the period, including the birth of the royal baby, the FBI hunt for Edward Snowden and the railway accident in Spain. They sent out "news" emails containing links leading web users to ‘Blackhole’ malware.
However, in October the author of Blackhole (known as Paunch) was arrested in Russia, which could signal a drop in malware in the future.
“In the third quarter we came across a very interesting mass mailing where the fraudsters imitated a reply from the technical support service of a large antivirus company," said Darya Gudkova, Head of Content Analysis & Research at Kaspersky Lab. "If users opened the attachment, they would find a malicious program detected by Kaspersky Anti-Virus as Email-Worm.Win32.NetSky.q.”
Asia remained the number one regional source of spam (56.51 per cent), followed by North America (20.09 per cent) and Western Europe (13.47 per cent).
Image source: Shutterstock (Hacker typing on a laptop)