Around 90 per cent of all email messages are either spam or phishing mails, according to Symantec's latest State of Spam and Phishing reports released today.
Symantec principal analyst Amanda Grady said, “Rising spam levels originating from South America, Asia Pacific and Japan are not altogether surprising when you consider the massive growth of internet connections in these regions."
Although the majority of spam still comes from Europe – 28 per cent – this represents a six per cent fall from June this year, according to Symantec.
The report also found that users of social networking sites were increasingly under attack, with Facebook being the most popular target.
"The increased threat to social networking web sites is interesting because it shows spammers are hiding behind the reputation and brand trust built by legitimate companies. Social networking sites that have a large user base will continue to be targets of malicious and phishing emails,” Grady said.
Symantec also reported a 17 per cent increase in phishing during October, while the most commonly used domains for attacks were .com, .net and .org, accounting for 50 per cent, nine per cent and four per cent respectively.
During October, the top countries in terms of brands attacked were the US, UK and Italy. In the UK, most attacks were associated with banking web sites.
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