Spam trend reflects criminal element

In the past year, spam has become mostly offers of cheap Viagra and low-interest loans, indicating an increase in criminal online activity, according to the latest spam index by Clearswift.

Financial and pharmaceutical spam has risen the most in the past 12 months - making up nearly 70 percent of the spam received by Clearswift compared to about 40 percent this time last year. Pornographic spam, meanwhile, has dropped to 4.8 percent, down from 21.8 percent a year ago.

"In its early days, spam was dominated by the pornographic industry and entrepreneurial salesmen...However, organized crime gangs have since been moving their operations online and spam provides a virtually invisible channel for this kind of activity," said Clearswift, a supplier of content security solutions.

Spam now is a variety of financial scams and serves as a black market for illegal goods such as fake pharmaceuticals and counterfeit software, according to Clearswift.


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