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Increase in Valentine’s spam activity

Analysis of Symantec‘s February intelligence report highlights that although spam dropped by 1.3 percent, levels rose dramatically when spammers tried to cash in on Valentine’s Day and the financial crisis.

“February saw the spammers pulling at both the heart and the purse strings with the emphasis on Valentine’s Day and the global recession,” said senior analyst Paul Wood. “Although spam levels declined slightly this month, the level of activity around Valentine’s-themed spam reached unprecedented highs, accounting for nine percent of all spam messages.”

“With the financial crisis front of mind for many organisations and consumers, spammers and phishers are using this topic to their advantage and targeting people when times are tough.”

For the first time in more than a year, February saw the re-appearance of search engine re-directs which topically referenced the financial crisis. The ‘recession spam’ email messages contained text such as: “Money is tight, times are hard. Christmas is over. Time to get a new watch!”

The phishing community also used the current financial climate to their advantage; at a time when concerned consumers may not be surprised to hear from their banks, phishing attacks have risen to one in 190.4 emails, from one in 396.2 in January 2009.

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Jen Bishop

Jen Bishop

Jen was the publisher at Loyalty Media and editor of Dynamic Business, Australia's largest circulating small business magazine, from 2008 until 2012. She is now a full-time blogger at The Interiors Addict.

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