In July 2006, McAfee released protection for the 200,000th threat in its database. It expects the 300,000th threat to be identified by the end of 2007.
Marshal's Threat Research and Content Engineering (TRACE) team says that phishing emails increased from 0.4 percent of total spam in November 24 to 2.2 percent on December 1. "This signifies the highest level of phishing emails since July 2006," according to TRACE, and a tripling of the average phishing email rates over the last six months.
China is now the number one generator of phishing emails in the world, jumping from 10th position last week. "Like spam levels, which have almost doubled in the past month, the current spike in phishing emails is in part being driven by the Christmas season," said Bradley Anstis, director of product management for Marshal. "Scammers and spammers are ramping up their efforts because they are aware that there a more consumers shopping online, looking for gift ideas and receiving e-cards. There are more people who are likely to open the messages."
According to Marshall, spammers are no longer using one spam variation repeatedly until it no longer gets through. They are constantly varying their spam techniques such as with "Ransom Note Spam", using animated GIFs and extreme use of image randomisation. Spammers will often use a technique once before moving on to another method," said Anstis.