The Symantec Intelligence Report: January 2013 shows the month of January set a four-year record with the lowest spam-virus rate worldwide since 2009.
Globally only one in 400 emails contained a virus with the overall spam ratio falling by 6.5 percent to 64.1 percent. One in 508 emails were phishing and 2,256 web sites were blocked every day, an increase of 196% over December 2012.
In New Zealand, the ratio was significantly lower at one in 726 emails. In December last year the figure was one in 547.
It could indicate email virus distributors took a break after the holiday season, or that they have continued to migrate away from email as a choice for malicious payload delivery. The company says it is following this trend carefully to see if it continues to drop off.
The top five geographies with the highest virus rates in January this year were Hungary, South Africa, United Kingdom, Italy and India; and the top five industry sectors with the highest virus rates were the public sector, education, accommodation/catering, transport/utility and non-profit.
New Zealand took the fifth place in phishing rate worldwide after the United States, United Kingdom, Germany and Norway. In January, the global phishing rate decreased by 0.068 percentage points, taking the global average to one in 508.6 emails (0.197 percent).