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Symantec Global internet Security threat report

Spam by category

Spam categories are assigned based on spam activity that is detected by the Symantec probe network. While some of the categories may overlap, this data provides a general overview of the types of spam that are most commonly seen on the internet today. it is important to note that this data is restricted to spam attacks that are detected and processed by the Symantec probe network. internal upstream processing may filter out particular spam attacks, such as those that are determined to be potential fraud attacks.

the most common type of spam detected by Symantec in 2009 was related to internet-related goods and services, which contributed 29 percent of all spam observed—an increase from 24 percent in 2008 (figure 15). this category of spam typically contains spam relating to online commodities such as online educational diplomas and degrees. Although “degree spam” is not a new trend, 2009 saw spammers capitalize on the economic recession by advertising online degree courses to all sectors of the workforce. Some of these online educational scams requested financial-related information in the initial application stage, thus providing spammers with an additional way to procure credit card information under the pretense of a legitimate educational facility.

5%

5%

5%

7%

7%

1%

2%

3%

8%

7%

24%

29%

15%

15%

16%

19%

15%

17%

2008

2009

“419” type

Fraud

Leisure

Adult

Health

Political

Commercial products

Internet

Scams

Financial

Figure 15. Spam by category Source: Symantec

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