Overall Email Spam Rate Falls Below 50% for First Time in a Decade

To those going through the grind of unclogging inboxes it may not seem the case but the overall email spam rate has fallen markedly according to the June 2015 Symantec Intelligence Report.

The report reveals that the rate now stands at 49.7%, the first time in a decade, September 2003 that it has dipped into minority status.

Even though there was some bad news in the form of 57.6 million new malware variants created in June, up from 44.5 million pieces in May and 29.2 million in April, phishing rates and email-based malware were also down in the month.

Symantec suggested that the increase in activity lends more evidence to the idea that, with the continued drops in email-based malicious activity, attackers are simply moving to other areas of the threat landscape.

Ransomware attacks were up in June, with over 477,000 detected during the month. Still below the levels seen at the end of 2014, this was though is the second month in a row ransomware attacks have increased since they reached a 12-month low in April. Crypto-ransomware was also up in June, reaching the highest levels seen since December 2014.

Large enterprises were the target of 25.1% of spear-phishing attacks in June, down from 39.2% in May. In contrast, 38.1% of attacks were directed at organizations with less than 250 employees.

As far as verticals were concerned, manufacturing sector was targeted with the greatest volume of spear-phishing attacks in June, as 22% were directed at manufacturing organizations. Activity here is now in line what is being seen in the finance, insurance, and real estate sectors and the services – professional sector, which come in at second and third place.

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