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BizReport : Email Marketing : June 23, 2010

Report: 25% of global spam is World Cup related

Don't reference the World Cup in your emails, marketers. That may as well be the headline for the lastest information from MessageLabs, which found that about 25% of all spam, worldwide, is related to the World Cup. Spammers are using the Football (Soccer) tournament to target consumers around the globe.

by Kristina Knight

messagelabs.gifIn addition to actual spam, MessageLabs found 45 targeted malware email messages focusing on Brazil; from chemical and finance companies to manufacturing, Brazilian businesses have been under attack so far this June. Pharma-marketers, as always, are also under attack as spammers begin using World Cup information to push redirect codes. Many of these emails offer a World Cup related headline and the body of the email contains a link to a disguised phishing website.

"Right now, spammers are reliant on the massive wave of excitement and expectation that typically surrounds an event like the FIFA World Cup," said MessageLabs Intelligence Senior Analyst, Paul Wood. "Riding this wave, spammers get the attention of their victims by offering products for sale or enticing them to click on a link. It is not uncommon for the event to appear in the subject line of an email but for the body of the same email to be completely unrelated."

According to the report:

• 89% of emails are now spam
• 16.7% of malware emails contained links to malicious websites
• Malware is also being sent in hopes of infecting computer systems within businesses or organizations
• 1 in 634 emails is a phishing attempt
• 90% of US email is now spam, 88% of Canadian and UK emails are spam

Engineering continues to be the highest sector for spamming (94% spam), followed by Education (89.9%) and Chemical/Pharma (89.7% spam).

Tags: email marketing, FIFA, malware, MessageLabs, phishing, spam levels, World Cup

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