Three new reports on malware caught my attention today. The first report is out of Google's Postini division, which indicates that spam has risen to levels not seen since before the McColo incident, the biggest takedown on record. The 7-day average spam record at the end of March returned to the pre-November, 2008 levels.
Viruses in email attachments made a come-back, with emails becoming even more geographically customized to increase the click rates. The economy, financial markets, job cuts, and resume help are the most prominent topics spammers use.
The second study from Symantec indicates that the number of websites spreading malicious programs tripled in the last month, reaching the highest levels since June 2008. Almost 3,000 potentially harmful websites are being intercepted daily, with nearly that same number of new websites harboring malware each day.
The last study, out of PandaLabs, indicates that 1.1% of the worldwide population of Internet users has been actively exposed to identity theft malware, with that rate increasing very quickly through 2009. This study, based on 67 million computers worldwide, also showed that only 25% of infected PCs had up-to-date antivirus software.
As a reality check, researchers in Canada uncovered an electronic spying operation that had infiltrated computers from government and private offices around the world. Read more here.