Spammers Still Speak English, and Blogs Have Malware: The Symantec Annual Report

A look back at the year in malicious attacks.

Do not order these via junk filter email. (

Symantec just released its annual Internet Threat Security Report, which offers a nice wrap-up of the last year in cybersecurity. The company’s software blocked 5.5 billion total attacks in 2011, versus 3 billion in 2010; 42 percent of mailboxes targeted for attack are “high level executives, senior managers, and people in R&D,” which is pretty alarming if you’re trying to protect IP.

That’s all useful intel for IT and security pros. But parts of the report read… a little random. Betabeat found this so noticeable, we picked out a few of our favorite facts, selected for wtfery rather than newsworthiness:

1. The percentage of spam that’s pharmaceutical in nature dropped dramatically, from 74 percent in 2010 to 40 percent in 2011. Perhaps people are catching onto the fact that Duane Reade is a more reliable option than (Actually it’s mostly due to the shutdown of the Rustock botnet, a spam-producing powerhouse.)

2. Data breaches spiked in April. Hey, hackers get spring fever, too.

3. English, the report tells us, is still the “lingua franca” of spam. The next most popular: Portuguese, Russian and Dutch.

4. The most malware ridden category of website? “Blogs and web communications.” [Looks around, shiftily.]

5. And of course, the biggest doozy of them all: “Religious and ideological sites” apparently had three times the number of threats per infected website–and that’s compared to “adult” sites. The report speculates porno companies have more financial incentive to keep their sites scoured of malware.


Spammers Still Speak English, and Blogs Have Malware: The Symantec Annual Report