The Origin of Spam: The United States as the Main Source

The recent report from VIPRE Security Group on email threat trends for the first quarter of 2024 reveals concerning data about the state of cyber security, highlighting how cyber attackers continuously adapt and evolve their techniques.

According to the report, the US remains the largest source of unwanted mail globally, although its percentage has decreased from 76% in the first quarter of 2023 to 66% in the same period of 2024. The United Kingdom, Ireland, and Japan follow suit. The main targets of these attacks are the US, Great Britain, and Canada.

There has been a notable shift in the industries most targeted by malicious emails in 2024, with manufacturing leading at 43% of attacks, followed by the government and IT sectors at 15% and 11%, respectively. This marks a significant deviation from the previous year, where finance, healthcare, and education were the most affected sectors.

Identity fraud emails are becoming more complex, often impersonating HR departments and making claims related to employment benefits, compensation, or insurance. These emails may contain attachments in .html or .pdf formats that redirect users to fraudulent websites using QR codes.

The use of cloud storage platforms like Google Drive to conceal malware is on the rise, with the percentage of emails containing malware and attachments increasing from 3% in the first quarter of 2023 to 22% in the same period of 2024. Attackers are exploiting vulnerabilities such as XSS and utilizing less common file formats in their phishing attacks to circumvent standard security measures.

VIPRE emphasizes the effectiveness of its patented technologies, including link isolation and advanced detection rules, in combating these threats. The link isolation feature has proven instrumental in detecting and preventing attacks that could have otherwise bypassed other security measures.

As the 2024 US presidential election approaches, there has been a surge in email scams related to the event, adding another dimension of complexity to the threats during this politically significant period.

The VIPRE report is informative and insightful, urging readers to delve into its findings and recommendations for enhancing cyber security measures.