Spam, phishing and email-borne virus attacks all increased last month, as did the number of new sites harbouring malware, according to the latest MessageLabs Intelligence report from Symantec Hosted Services (SHS).
The monthly report found that the global proportion of spam in email traffic from new and previously unknown bad sources rose to 90 per cent in May, an increase of 0.3 per cent.
Global phishing activity reached one in every 237.1 emails, an increase of 0.2 per cent since April, and the UK topped the chart for phishing activity yet again with one in every 121.8 emails.
One of the largest jumps in the past month, however, was the growth in new web sites harbouring malware. SHS identified 1,770 new sites with malware, adware and other potentially unwanted programs, an increase of 5.6 per cent on the previous month.
Finally, in what could be a sign of things to come, SHS intercepted a malware attack using the upcoming World Cup tournament as its theme.
The email was written in Portuguese and featured the branding of one of the event sponsors, although it was sent from an IP address in China.
"Once downloaded and activated, the malware produces files that generate pop-up messages, and collects information on other machines on the same network, giving the attacker further access to the compromised computer," said SHS senior analyst Paul Wood.
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