Spam and phishing down during March says Symantec

According to the monthly report, the overall phishing landscape decreased by 22.71%, whilst phishing attacks using automated toolkits decreased by a hefty 41.54%

This is in stark contrast to February when overall phishing surged by 38.56%, with phishing websites created by automated toolkits increased by a massive 50.33%.

Symantec says that spam levels also fell in March, by 27.43%, having previously been increased in February. This is a dramatic result following the Rustock botnet shutdown, says the security vendor.

In fact, after the authorities shut down the botnet, on March 16 the global spam volume fell 24.7% compared to the previous day. The next day, the volume fell another 11.9%.

Overall for March, spam made up 74.68% of all messages, compared with 80.65% in February.

While both spam and phishing is down overall, the monthly report states that cybercriminals continued to take advantage of the earthquakes in Japan and New Zealand to send spam, scam, malware, and phishing attacks.

This was typified, says the analysis, by a surge in fake donation requests for victims of the New Zealand earthquake, whilst there are also reports of similar scams involving donation requests for Japanese victims of the quake.

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