The US is, hands down, the world's biggest distributor of spam email, according to a new report from Atlas VPN. Analyzing all spam email messages sent across the world in the last six months, the VPN firm found that almost half of it – 44% - originated in the United States.
Russia is the second biggest spam distributor, accounting for nearly a tenth of all spam messages sent out in the last 180 days, with Germany a close third with just below 8%.
Despite its Great Firewall and the national policy of being detached from the rest of the (digital) world, China still managed to take up just above 3% of the infamous market share.
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In order to break down the contents of these emails for its report, Atlas VPN took a closer look at a sample of 24,265 spam emails that were sent over a period of two weeks. Most (6,171, or 25%) were harmless ad emails.
The majority of hurtful emails - 5,699 – were phishing attacks. In these messages, which made up almost a quarter (23%) of the emails analyzed for the period, the recipients are enticed to click a seemingly innocent link or download an email attachment, through which they’d be giving login credentials to some of their online services to the attackers.
Another 1,783 emails, or 7%, were blackmail, while 594, or 2%, were scam emails. Of all the malicious attachments circulating in these emails, 182 of them (1%) were archives. These were also the most common type of attachments, as well.
Email is still considered one of the most popular attack vectors, for various reasons such as its popularity in both private and business matters, as well as the fact that it’s cheap and simple to operate. Attackers prey on overworked, reckless and overly trusting individuals, having them download malware, or share private or payment information.
Businesses are advised to train their employees on the dangers lurking online, as well as to deploy a respectable email service.
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