AppRiver Quarantines 200 Million Malicious Emails in Q1 2015

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Report exposes malware and spam trends, tax-related scams and shares tips to stay safe while filing on tax day

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AppRiver’s Security Research Team detected an increase in the amount of tax-related spam intended to phish users for sensitive data or infect PCs this quarter.

AppRiver, LLC, a leading provider of email messaging and Web security solutions, today released its Q1 Global Security Report, a detailed summary and analysis of malware and spam trends traced between January and March 2015.

During the first quarter of 2015, AppRiver quarantined 5.5 billion spam messages (83 percent of all email traffic) and blocked 200 million messages containing viruses in attachments. Total spam traffic increased 38 percent from the previous quarter, while spam originating from North America and Europe accounted for 78 percent of all Q1 spam traffic.

The start of 2015 also proved to be busy on the tax-scam front. AppRiver’s Security Research Team detected an increase in the amount of tax-related spam intending to phish users for sensitive data or infect PCs. Senior Security Analyst Fred Touchette reminds users how to stay safe this tax season in a blog post that can be viewed online here.

“We’ve seen hundreds of variants of tax-themed email campaigns attempting to dupe users in the first quarter of 2015,” said Touchette. “The majority of messages either contain malware directly as an attachment or contain a URL leading to a malicious payload. More and more users are now filing electronically and in the eyes of unsuspecting users, many emails can seem legitimate.”

In a video available here, Touchette discusses other highlights from the report, including:

  •     Events: At the beginning of February, customers of the country’s second largest health insurance company, Anthem, were alerted of a breach involving personal data. This data breach ended up involving records of over 80 million customers.
  •     POS Malware: The success of the Target breach set the pace for what was to come for POS systems, as they were immediately seen as the go-to target for cyber thieves. Most of them appeared to be a relatively unguarded goldmine through which all store transactions are made. Copycat attacks began and many different versions of POS scraping kits began to show up on underground forums. “Even though its roots run deeper than it may seem, POS malware is a very active, current trend in the world of cybercrime and the ball is now in our court to fix this gaping hole in security," said Senior Security Analyst Troy Gill. “This lies in the hands of the people that create these systems to build security in as well as the merchants that use them in their shops to make sure they are doing everything in their power to keep transactions safe.”
  •     Government Cyber Plans: This year, President Obama acknowledged cyber threats with signed executive orders. One such executive order aims to increase data sharing between government agencies and private companies. While another executive order gives the United States government the go-ahead to sanction suspected cybercriminals with financial and travel restrictions.

To learn more about AppRiver’s security services or to enjoy a 30-day free trial, please visit http://www.appriver.com.

About AppRiver
AppRiver is a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) provider offering award-winning email and Web security solutions to businesses of all sizes. Understanding the need to protect networks from today's increasingly complex IT threats, AppRiver offers businesses a comprehensive, yet affordable subscription-based solution that incorporates the latest spam and virus protection, email encryption and Web security on the market. In addition, the company provides a complete managed service for Microsoft Exchange, as well as a bundled Office 365 solution. Since its inception, AppRiver has sustained an impressive 93% customer retention rate while growing its customer base to more than 47,000 companies and 8.5 million mailboxes worldwide. The company maintains offices in Florida, Georgia, Texas, New York, Switzerland and Spain, and is led by an Ernst & Young Florida Entrepreneur of the Year award winner. For more information, please visit http://www.appriver.com.

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Dana Holway
AppRiver
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