SA in top 10 spam source countries

South Africa is one of the top 10 sources of spam, according to new data from internet and mobile security company, AVG Technologies.

In its latest ‘AVG Community Powered Threat Report’, the group found that SA is ranked at number 10 for countries of spam senders in Q4 2011 – accounting for 1.5% of spam.

The report notes a spike in mobile activity, with around a million malicious mobile events detected during the quarter.

“Malware targeting mobile devices evolves frighteningly fast and the magnitude has the potential of being even more destructive than before,” AVG said before pointing out that at the end of 2010, numbers indicated that new mobile devices were overtaking new purchased PCs.

Vendors shipped 100.9 million smart phones during the fourth quarter of 2010, while research group, IDC, logged 92.1 million PC shipments during the same time period.

“Free offerings from cyber criminals are getting smarter and also [more] available on mobile platforms. Web, PC and mobile threats are sharing similar techniques, becoming smarter and always have a monetization method behind them, even if they are initially offered for free,” AVG said.

The Blackhole toolkit was seen as the most active threat on the web, with a share of nearly 50% of all detected instances and over 80% of all toolkits.

The USA is still the largest source of spam, now followed by the UK.

“In Q4 we clearly saw the convergence between computers and mobile phones applies to malware too. As phones become more like computers, so do the risks,” said Yuval Ben-Itzhak, CTO AVG Technologies.

“Many sophisticated tricks of the trade from computers are now being repurposed for phones. However, as phones are often tied into billing systems the gains can be far greater.”

AVG reported that 2011 saw a surge in both Android users and Android malware samples. In December, Google removed another 22 malicious apps from the Android Market, making the total for 2011 pass the 100 mark.

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SA in top 10 spam source countries