Pornographic, gambling websites safer, users fall prey to cyber crime via search engines, ads, says Cisco
The US moved up from the sixth spot in 2011 to second in 2012, while the other top five spam-originating countries were Korea (4.6 per cent), China (4.19 per cent) and Vietnam (4 per cent).
Only three per cent of total spam mails had attachments,versus 25 per cent of valid email, unlike the perception that spam mails have attachments that could lead to users
downloading spurious content.
"Spammers are now designing their campaigns to convince users to click on links to visit websites where they can purchase products or services (often dubious). Once the users do that, their personal information is collected, often without their knowledge, or they are compromised in some other way," Gupta said.
A majority of spam comes from groups who seek to sell branded goods, anything from luxury watches to pharmaceuticals that are, in most cases, fake, he added.
The top languages for spam messages in 2012 were English, followed by Russian, Catalan, Japanese, and Danish.