Commtouch Q2 Internet Threats Trend Report Highlights Strong Increase in Regionalized Spam and Malware Distribution

   Commtouch Q2 Internet Threats Trend Report Highlights Strong Increase in
                  Regionalized Spam and Malware Distribution

Number of malware-infected websites increased in Q2

PR Newswire

MCLEAN, Va., July 31, 2013

MCLEAN, Va., July 31, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --The second quarter of 2013 saw a
decrease in global spam levels while spam levels varied significantly
according to region, indicating that spam distribution is becoming more and
more targeted, according to the Q2 Internet Threats Trend Report issued by
Commtouch^® (NASDAQ: CTCH), a leading provider of Internet security technology
and cloud-based services.

During the second quarter, as measured by Commtouch, global spam levels
dropped by 34 percent in May and a further 15 percent in June. The average
daily spam volume in June was near 54 billion emails per day – the lowest
level in several years. In the first quarter of 2013, the average stood at
approximately 97 billion spam emails per day.

However, spam levels developed in very different ways depending on region. For
example, spam levels in Germany increased by 32 percent throughout Q2. While
globally, the share of spam among all emails dropped to 64 percent in June, in
Germany that number was as high as 80.4 percent. This was at least partly due
to huge spam volumes on June 25^th, with levels not seen since November 2011.
These were caused by particularly large German-language spam waves advertising
online gambling sites targeting German users, resulting in spam levels in
Germany three times higher on June 25^th than the previous day. In Q2,
Commtouch's researchers observed many such targeted spam campaigns, among them
some in Spanish, Italian or Dutch.

Also in the second quarter, the number of websites infected with malware
continued to increase. By June, Commtouch was tracking 34 percent more
malicious sites listed in Commtouch's GlobalView™ URL filtering database than
there were in April. The most popular website category for malware
distributors continued to be education sites, followed by business and travel

"The spam and email security landscape in general became much more diversified
according to region during the second quarter of 2013," said Avi Turiel,
director of threat research and market analysis at Commtouch. "The
discrepancies between the development of spam levels globally and in specific
regions such as Germany show that that the growing trend toward targeted spam
and malware distribution has started to affect spam levels in a significant
way. This trend has begun to transform the way spam and malware distribution
works, posing new detection challenges for security vendors."

Other report highlights:

  oEvent spam transformed into real-time spam in Q2, with spammers using
    current breaking news within hours of the news emerging, sending fake news
    alert emails in the name of media outlets such as CNN or BBC in order to
    lure recipients into clicking on a link leading to malware-infected
    websites. The campaigns are usually run for a very short time and then
    replaced by new ones using a new breaking news story. This gives the
    emails an appearance of urgency and specifically targets users who might
    not have heard the news. In Q2, such campaigns used, among other events,
    the Boston bombings and the Waco explosion.
  oBelarus topped the list of spam-sending countries in Q2 with a share of
    14.8 percent of all spam. The United States came in second (6.3 percent)
    followed by the Ukraine (5.8 percent). In terms of spam-sending zombie
    computers, India retained the crown with a share of 12.2 percent, followed
    by China (9.7 percent), Vietnam and Belarus (5.6 percent each).
  oAs far as spam topics are concerned, the first half of 2013 was a period
    of comebacks: after the re-emergence of pump and dump or penny stock spam
    in Q1 (which remained a major topic in Q2), diet spam, i.e. emails
    advertising allegedly miraculous drugs and methods to lose weight, became
    the second largest spam topic in Q2, multiplying its share among all spam
    emails from 0.4 percent in Q1 to 10.9 percent in Q2. The number one spam
    topic remained pharmaceutical spam, mainly advertising for Viagra and
    similar drugs, although its share of the overall spam volume significantly
    decreased: from 16.3 percent in Q1 to 11.7 percent in Q2.
  oIn Web security, the second quarter of 2013 again saw extensive use made
    of various Web exploit kits. The most popular one remains the Blackhole
    Exploit Kit which scans the target system and downloads the appropriate
    malware. This was used, for example, in the real-time spam campaigns
    described above. Other campaigns delivering exploit kits used phony
    LinkedIn invitations and Facebook notifications.

The Commtouch Internet Threat Analysis Team regularly publishes related
statistics within its report. The quarterly report is compiled based on a
comprehensive analysis of billions of daily transactions handled by
Commtouch's GlobalView Cloud.

To view the Commtouch Q2 Internet Threats Trend Report, visit:

About Commtouch
Commtouch^® (NASDAQ: CTCH) is a leading provider of Internet security
technology and cloud-based services for vendors and service providers,
increasing the value and profitability of our customer's solutions by
protecting billions of Internet transactions on a daily basis. With 12 global
data centers and award-winning, patented technology, Commtouch's email, Web,
and antivirus capabilities easily integrate into our customers' products and
solutions, keeping safe more than 350 million end users. To learn more, visit

  oTwitter: @Commtouch

Recurrent Pattern Detection, RPD, Zero-Hour and GlobalView are trademarks, and
Commtouch is a registered trademark of Commtouch. U.S. Patent No. 6,330,590 is
owned by Commtouch. All other trademarks are the property of their respective

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