South Africa is among the world’s top 40 sources of spam, according to security firm Kaspersky Lab.
South Africa was ranked 36th as a global source of spam in the third quarter of 2015, Kaspersky Lab told Fin24.
In the company’s ‘Spam and Phishing in Q3 2015’ report, it found that SA generated 0.42% of global spam. South Africa’s spam was directed mainly at Jordan, Namibia and Tajikistan.
The report also found that the US, Vietnam and China were the top three sources of global spam, accounting for 15.3%, 8.4% and 7.2% of mail shots respectively.
Spam, though, has decreased slightly as a percentage of email traffic to 54.2%, a drop of 0.8% over the previous quarter, said Kaspersky.
Spam, which remains an effective delivery mechanism for malicious software or malware, was particularly targeted at travellers as Europeans prepare for holidays, added the company.
“During the third quarter of 2015 we saw spammers exploit the European summer holiday season and the lonely,” said Tatyana Shcherbakova, antispam analyst at Kaspersky Lab.
Germany (18.47%), Brazil (11.7%) and Russia (7.56%) were the top three countries targeted by cyber criminals.
Spammers also utilised Trojan-Downloader.JS.Agent.hhy as the most prolific malware which was disguised as an airline ticket or hotel reservation.
Kaspersky further added that spammers placed fraudulent links in PDF attachments as a strategy to beat spam filters.
“A variety of tactics were used – from sending fake notifications on behalf of hotels, to sending fraudulent links in PDF attachments, and requests for money to lonely ‘suiters’,” said Shcherbakova.
In terms of phishing, a strategy where cyber crooks produce fake websites, the Trojan-Spy.HTML.Fraud.gen malware retained its top spot as the most common tool to grab user information in spam.