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Spamquake subsides: less than half of email is now processed pork

Best results since 2003 as Phisherfolk stop dangling their bait

Spam levels have fallen to below 50 per cent of all email sent for the first time in a decade, according to security firm Symantec.

The milestone comes from a 1.8 per cent decline in spam rates from last month, when spam accounted for 51.5 per cent of sent email.

Threat bod Ben Nahorney said it was the lowest rate since September 2003.

"There is good news this month on the email-based front of the threat landscape," Nahorney explained in the company's latest threat report (PDF).

"According to our metrics, the overall spam rate has dropped to 49.7 per cent. The last time Symantec recorded a similar spam rate was clear back in September of 2003."

Symantec obtains its statistics from 57.6 million "attack sensors" and thousands of events logged every second, all spread across 157 countries.

Nahorney said phishing was also down despite a whopping 57.6 million malware variants, an increase of 12.2 million on May, being churned out by VXer factories.

That followed a steady increase in which the number of variants shot up in May from 29.2 million the previous month.

Those variants would include minor alterations designed to slip past ineffective antivirus signatures.

Nearly half a million ransomware attacks were detected last month, Nahorney added, a record for 2015 but still below last year's levels when numbers peaked in December at 756,000 attacks.

Ransomware levels were high all last year hitting 738,000 and 734,000 in November and September respectively, according to Symantec stats. ®

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