Financial spam tops list in August

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Financial spam topped the list of most prevalent spam during August, according to a report from Trend Micro.

In its August 2005 Virus Roundup, Trend Micro found 36 percent of all spam during August was in the Financial category, followed by the Adult category which had 19 percent. Both categories had shown continued growth over the past six months, according to a statement from the anti-virus company.

Adam Biviano, senior systems engineer at Trend Micro Australia, said it was now starting to see more of a convergence, with different threats leveraging off each other's strengths. Biviano used the example of a piece of spyware that might be propagated by a worm.

Financial gain was also becoming more of a motivation for those releasing threats. "I think over 70 percent of samples and threats we're seeing are financially motivated, which is a huge number if you think about it," Biviano said.

In its statement, Trend Micro also pointed to what it described as a worrying security issue -- spam that was no longer just text emails or messages containing links to commercial websites.

"Senders could be Bot-controlled zombie computers and spam can be combined with malwares," Trend Micro warned. "The greater danger is the combination of spam with a wide range of malwares, including worms, Trojans, spyware and bot programs etc."

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