“In June, 72 percent of emails sent in Sweden were spam compared to 87 percent for the same period last year,” analyst Paul Wood from the internet security company Symantec told news agency TT.
According to the company, the reason for the decrease in the amount of spam hitting our inboxes is the shut down of a major spam-sending botnet called Rustock in March.
A botnet is a collection of compromised computers, referred to as bots, making up a network.
The spam they generate looks like it is sent from ordinary people, either through a fake or hijacked account. However, when the recipient opens the email it turns out to be an advertisement.
After the shutdown of Rustock, spam levels have dropped significantly, which can be compared to figures from 2008, following a similar bust of another large botnet.
The most common spam circulating at the moment are pharmaceutical adverts, which accounted for 40 percent of all spam in June.
Spammers try to get recipients to buy their products by alluding to brand names or riding the waves of well-known internet phenomena. One such is the newly established Wikipharmacy, which offers “Viagra” for both men and women at a cheaper price than in real pharmacies.
“Spammers often like to sell fake products. They trick customers through using a brand that is familiar and adding internet concepts like Wiki”, said Wood to TT.
Spam accounted for 72.9 percent of emails sent across the globe in June, returning to the same figure as April earlier this year.
Worldwide 39.2 billion spam emails were sent in June this year, compared to the 121.5 billion were in circulation in June 2010, according to the Symantec’s annual intelligence report.