Global warming and MP3 spam hit the inboxes: Symantec report

Presidential candidate Ron Paul, MP3s and global warming are all topics that spammers are using in e-mail, according to a new report by Symantec.

In the November edition of the State of Spam Report, Symantec found that overall spam levels grew slightly to 70.5% of all e-mail traffic in October, and that spammers are seeking new ways to spam. Fraud and scam spam are on the rise, with spam in these categories accounting for 18% of all spam in October, up from 13% in September.

MP3 spam made its debut this month, playing to the tune of pump-and-dump stock tips. Pump-and-dump stock spam has been popular for years and in October, e-mail recipients heard stock picks through MP3 recordings attached to the spam. The average size of the MP3 file was approximately 63.3 KB, with the stock tip lasting for about 30 seconds.

In addition, as the presidential campaigns heat up, Ron Paul has become a spam subject line.

Global warming spam also made its debut in the shape of “Click away the carbon” e-mails. These spam messages included a survey soliciting personal information and offering to make a donation by one of the survey’s sponsors in behalf of the e-mail recipient.

Other spam trends recorded in the study for October is that spammers have started using Google’s advanced search operators to direct end users to a spam URL.

Despite the growth in spam, some recently popular spam tactics such as image spam remained at 7% and PDF spam hit a low of 0%.

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