For the second quarter in a row, there were spikes in email-borne viruses not caught by major antivirus engines, differentiating these last two quarters from rather consistently low numbers seen during the previous 18 months.

Q3 2009 Highlights:

  • Email-borne malware that bypassed traditional anti-virus engines peaked
    every 11 to 13 days during the second half of the quarter, dominated by Mal-Bredo A and Mal
    Behav-340, of which over 10,000 distinct variants were distributed.
  • An average of 332,000 zombies were newly activated each day for the purpose of malicious activity.
  • Spam levels averaged 83% of all email traffic throughout the quarter,peaking at 97% in July and bottoming out at 71% in August.
  • Sites in the “Health & Medicine” and “Sex Education” categories topped the list of Web categories
    manipulated by phishing schemes.
  • “Business” continued to be the Web site category most infected with malware.
  • The financial crises and the debate around health care reform in the US has shaped recent spam trends.