MessageLabs released their annual MessageLabs Intelligence Report which details their analysis of email threats (spam, phishing, virus) in 2006 and trends to watch in 2007.
The report indicates that the annual average spam rate for 2006 was 86.2% with 80% of all spam coming from Botnets (autonomous systems) and 63.4% of all spam cam from new sources indicating that spammers are staying a few steps ahead of the spam fighters.
Email-borne viruses had a relatively light year, but Phishing attacks doubled over 2005.
For 2007 they see a further decline in virus rates but a strong growth in Ransomware – malicious software which encrypts files and documents by using a secret key known only by the extortionist. Spam will become increasingly targeted to vertical markets, especially Finance and Legal. The threats to Mac OS X will begin to see an increase in worm attacks as the popularity of Apple continues to grow.