What type of email threats should businesses prepare for? What new patterns are cybercriminals going to use? How to defend your organisation against phishing attacks? Which are the world’s worst ISPs and countries for spam support? 

“A single spear-phishing email carrying a slightly altered malware can bypass multi-million pound/dollar/euro enterprise security solutions if an adversary deceives a cyber-hygienically apathetic employee into opening the attachment or clicking a malicious link and thereby compromising the entire network.” – James Scott

In this article, we’ll cover the following email industry news:

  1. [Report] Spear-Phishing: Top Threats and Trends
  2. Q3-Q4 2020 Spam Stats

Let’s dive in.

[Report] The Cyber Criminals Toolbox: Spear-phishing attacks

With the COVID-19 outbreak, cybercriminals have adapted quite quickly to the ongoing events and started implementing new malicious techniques. 

The guys and gals at Barracuda have spent months upon months analysing spear-phishing attacks. Finally, they have released an in-depth report into the spear-phishing threats and trends. 

A few key takeaways from the Spear-Phishing: Top Threats and Trends Vol.5 report – 

  • 12% of spear-phishing attacks are business email compromise (BEC) attacks
  • 71% of spear-phishing attacks include at least one malicious URL in the email body, however, only 30% of BEC attacks include a link
  • 72% of COVID-19-related attacks between June and October 2020 are scamming attacks followed by phishing (18%), extortion (6%) and BEC (3%)
  • 13% of spear-phishing attacks originate from internally compromised accounts
  • the most common domain extension used for malicious URLs is .com (71%)

The report also outlines 13 email threat types organisations have to face and they are –

Email Industry News: Email Phishing Threats and Q4 2020 Email Spam Statistics | EmailOut.com - free email marketing software

For further details, download the free copy of the report here.

Email Spam Statistics Q3 – Q4 2020

The distribution of unsolicited emails (a.k.a spam) has been a massive threat to both businesses and recipients. 

In Q3 2020, a well-known email marketing platform – Sendgrid – had 140 reported phishing spam complaints (it certainly had a massive effect on their clients’ email deliverability). This proves cybercriminals are evolving with their malicious practices and even utilising ESPs to achieve their nefarious goals.

Furthermore, according to stats, the biggest share of spam in global email traffic was recorded in Q3 2020, more specifically in August, 50% with Russian leading the charts as the top spam country (nearly 24%) followed by Germany (11%) and the U.S. (11%). 

Do you know which are the worst spam countries? How about the worst spam support ISPs? Here are Spamhaus’s stats as of December 21, 2020 – 

Top 5 Worst Spam Countries

1) China – 3,173 current live spam issues
2) The U.S. – 2,526 current live spam issues
3) Russia – 675 current live spam issues
4) Korea – 654 current live spam issues
5) Japan – 373 current live spam issues

Top 5 Worst Spam Support ISPs

1) kornet.net – 474 reported phishing spam complaints
2) chinanet-js – 325 reported phishing spam complaints
3) google.com – 304 reported phishing spam complaints (compared to 259 in October)
4) microsoft.com – 271 reported phishing spam complaints (compared to 232 in October)
5) cloudflare.com – 251 reported phishing spam complaints (the company offers cybersecurity services, ironically)

Final Thoughts

Do you have any suggestions or ideas about which email industry news topics you’d like us to look out for in the future? Write your requests below. We’ll keep an eye out (or two) so you don’t have to – and all for FREE, of course.

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Adi Angelova

Author Adi Angelova

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