1 in 9 email users encountered malware in 1H17

By Dylan Bushell-Embling
Tuesday, 10 October, 2017

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One in nine email users encountered email malware during the first half of 2017, and email remains by far the most common infection method, according to research from Symantec.

A new report by the security company into the state of email threats found that a user is almost twice as likely to encounter malware over email compared to the next most common attack vector — exploit kits.

The study also found that around 8000 businesses are reporting email malware attacks based on business email compromise (BEC) scams per month.

BEC scams, or CEO fraud, involve sending spoofed emails purporting to be from a CEO, CFO or other high-ranking member of a company, seeking to trick victims into transferring money via wire transfer.

On average, a targeted organisation has 5.2 of these emails sent to them per month, the report found.

Spam meanwhile grew to account for 54% of all emails during the first half of the year after six years of slow but steady decline, and is projected to further increase in the remainder of the year.

The research found that without spam filters, a business needs to effectively employ two people to manage spam for every 100 employees.

The top targeted verticals for email malware attacks include wholesale trade, mining, agriculture, forestry and fishing, and public administration.

Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/Leo Lintang

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