Damage caused by spam

Why is it necessary to combat spam? Spam started a number of years ago with modest advertising mailings, which over time, have developed into a serious technical, economic and even social threat.

  1. Communications overload. Spam blocks communication channels and creates traffic which has to be paid for by either the provider or the user (or the employer in the case of a company). According to estimates by Alexander Ivanov, the President of the Russian Association of Networks and Services, three years ago Internet operators lost $55 million from the damage caused by spam. This figure represents traffic expenses alone. Additionally, there are mail servers which receive and process spam, and these servers have to be maintained by highly-paid specialists. Therefore there are substantial infrastructure running-costs also.
  2. Waste of time. If spam reaches a user’s inbox, a recipient has to delete it manually. A person who reads 10-20 emails per day may receive in the region of 160-180 spam messages along with their business correspondence. That means that they will spend 5-6 hours per month just deleting spam, to the detriment of their productive working time.
  3. Irritation and discontent. By having to manually delete spam, a user becomes an ‘electronic’ waste disposal technician. Being forced to take such measures cannot help but irritate the user, resulting in unwanted negative emotions.
  4. The loss of an important email that accidentally gets deleted along with the plethora of spam. Everyone who has faced such a situation at any time will immediately understand. No further comment required.
  5. Criminalization of spam.

Year after year, the advertising component that was the original purpose of spam degenerates further towards simple criminal opportunism. Since spam mailings are anonymous, their owners often cherish the illusion that they can operate with impunity.

The most popular types of blatantly criminal spam are Nigerian letters and phishing. Spammers have been most inventive in creating ever more attractive ‘bait’ for the user and seeking new targets for their attacks.

In addition, the services of the spammer are in constant demand by virus writers. Virus writers use spam mailings to distribute their latest creations, often placing links to infected sites within the mailing that are designed to lure the unwary user to click on them for one reason or another. A recipient of such spam thus runs the risk of their computer being infected by a malicious program.

According to the experts, the annual overall loss resulting from spam is estimated to be tens of billions of Dollars. As a result, anti-spam protection is not only desirable, but an urgent necessity. If spammer activity is not restricted, email could easily become a thing of the past, eclipsed by the overwhelming volume of spam.

In the modern world, anti-spam protection and antimalware protection have become an indispensible part of any IT security system.


Spam and phishing in Q1 2018

The quarter’s main topic, one that we will likely return to many times this year, is personal data. It remains one of the most sought-after wares in the world of information technology for app and service developers, owners of various agencies, and, of course, cybercriminals. Unfortunately, many users still fail to grasp the need to protect their personal information and don’t pay attention to who and how their data is transferred in social media. Read Full Article


Tens of thousands per Gram

In late 2017, information appeared on specialized resources about a Telegram ICO to finance the launch of its own blockchain platform. The lack of information provided fertile ground for scammers: the rumors prompted mailshots seemingly from official representatives of the platform, inviting people to take part in the ICO and purchase tokens. Read Full Article


Every little bitcoin helps

It often happens that inventions and technologies that start out good end up turning into dangerous tools in the hands of criminals. Blockchain is no exception to this rule, especially in its most common cryptocurrency incarnation. The attacks targeted employees of small companies, but such emails could be sent to any user’s personal mail. Read Full Article


IT threat evolution Q3 2017

Our growing dependence on technology, connectivity and data means that businesses present a bigger attack surface than ever. Targeted attackers have become more adept at exploiting their victims’ vulnerabilities to penetrate corporate defences while ‘flying under the radar’. Read Full Article


Spam and phishing in Q3 2017

In terms of the average share of spam in global email traffic (58.02%), the third quarter of 2017 was almost identical to the previous reporting period: once again growth was slightly more than one percentage point – 1.05 (and 1.07 p.p. in Q2 2017). As in previous quarters, spammers were quick to react to high-profile events and adapted their fraudulent emails to the news agenda. Read Full Article


Spam and phishing in Q2 2017

In Q2 2017, the average share of spam in global email traffic amounted to 56.97%, which was only 1.07 p.p. more than in the previous quarter. One of the most notable events of this quarter – the WannaCry epidemic – did not go unnoticed by spammers: numerous mass mailings contained offers of assistance in combating the ransomware. Read Full Article