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McAfee January Spam Report Tracks Trends

McAfee's ( security technology research division, Avert Labs, has launched its new series of monthly publications, with the "McAfee January Spam Report," which includes sections on spam trends, campaigns, and "winners and losers."

The top trend the report notes was Washington Post investigative technology reporter Brian Krebs' investigation of shady web hosting provider McColo lead to it going offline and registering a 65 percent drop in McAfee's global spam reports. Despite this good news, McAfee expects other companies to take McColo's place.

McAfee also noted that end of "domain tasting," an abuse of ICANN's five-day return policy on domains, will help decrease spam. For years, scammers have used this loophole to register thousands of domains daily, until ICANN's board adopted the GNSO Council's recommendation to apply limits on the impact and scale of domain tasting.

The subjects of phishing attacks have generally following the news and current events including political spam surrounding the US election, and a rise in unemployment and diploma spam to coincide with the job losses due to the global recession. Also popular were holiday shopping credit spams and e-cards carrying links to malware and viruses.

Also, with tax season approaching, there has been a rise in the number of tax scams using professional-looking corporate fronts designed to steal financial information using the technique of "spear phishing."

McAfee's February report is scheduled for release in roughly four weeks. Its reports will provide a monthly summary of McAfee's research and analysis usually published in its white papers.

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