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Spam is annoying, resource consuming, malware driven and often offensive. It is also nothing if not responsive to market needs. This can be seen in the market driven swing from pharmaceutical and health related spam which has pretty much dominated the landscape during the last couple of years, to the product based stuff that pushes replica designer clothing and Rolex watches for example. New data released by email filtering specialists at the Marshall TRACE security team suggests that the two year long reign of health-related spam is over, and considering that this accounted for 75 percent of all spam in circulation during that period according to the Marshall statistics, it is quite some news.

Of course, there is always going to be some crossover when it comes to the small matter of spam and replica products. Just how much of the Viagra being sold on-line through the spam route do you really think is the genuine article? I would be surprised if anything beyond a limp 10 percent of those little blue pills have been anywhere near the Pfizer factory or, indeed, contain any sildenafil citrate. The deflated purchasers are unlikely to be aware of this until the most unfortunate of timed moments.

However, there can be little doubting that spammers are responding to market demand. Especially the handful of major spammers which all but control the global spam distribution chain courtesy of the size of the botnets under their control. Marshall says it has noticed that these spammers are switching to replica product spam and have the power to change the global make-up of the spam landscape as a result.

"The shift in focus from remedies to product replicas suggests that the spammers have begun to appreciate differing levels of consumer confidence in the various products being promoted. Spammers might be thinking that counterfeit watches and pirated software have greater mainstream appeal with a wider audience than dubious pharmaceuticals that few people believe are effective" Bradley Anstis, Marshal Vice President of Products says, continuing "In the past, the kinds of replica products on offer were limited mainly to watches ripping off brands like Rolex or Tag Heuer. More recently we have seen spammers branch out into a wider range of designer products like handbags, shoes, pens and other accessories ripping off brands like Ugg, Prada, Versace and Dior."

Since the start of this year, Marshall notes that the proportion of health related spam that has flowed into its spam traps has steadily reduced from 80 percent down to 45 percent. At the same time, replica product spam has grown from just 12 percent to 46 percent. So the actual swing is really quite marked although the overall percentages look very similar. I doubt that either will go away, after all since the year dot both replica Rolex and Viagra spam have been a staple diet of the junk mail folder. Currently these two types of spam account for 90 percent of all the junk we receive, which begs the question: who buys this stuff?

As Editorial Director and Managing Analyst with IT Security Thing I am putting more than two decades of consulting experience into providing opinionated insight regarding the security threat landscape for IT security professionals. As an Editorial Fellow with Dennis Publishing, I bring more than two decades of writing experience across the technology industry into publications such as Alphr, IT Pro and (in good old fashioned print) PC Pro. I also write for SC Magazine UK and Infosecurity, as well as The Times and Sunday Times newspapers. Along the way I have been honoured with a Technology Journalist of the Year award, and three Information Security Journalist of the Year awards. Most humbling, though, was the Enigma Award for 'lifetime contribution to IT security journalism' bestowed on me in 2011.

Not my experience.
Roughly 60% of the spam I get is advertising for various goods and services (the rest are attempts at identity theft).
Of that, roughly 80% is for medicines (fake or otherwise), mostly Viagra and similar products.
The rest is about a mix of pirated software, porn (I assume from the titles), fake watches and clothes, and miscellaneous other things (with the majority being pirated software).

That's a rough analysis over about 10.000 spam messages received over the last week on my main mail account (which gets about 50-100 real messages in the same week).

I tend to agree with the analysis. I've seen the amount of spam related to replica "everything" grow and grow in the past few months.
I did not try any statistics (I simply wipe spam away every couple of days) but I feel that theis growth was not at the expenses of the "medical stuff" part. It may well be that the new junk is coming on top of the previous one, since it looks like that the quantity of spam is increasing.
Well on the mark is the articles last question: who the heck buys the stuff advertised on all this spam mail?
Market dynamics would probably dictate that if there's no demand, the offers sooner or later fade away... anyone's with me on this?

Well on the mark is the articles last question: who the heck buys the stuff advertised on all this spam mail?
Market dynamics would probably dictate that if there's no demand, the offers sooner or later fade away... anyone's with me on this?
YES´╝îI think so.

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