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Studies Indicate 29% of Internet Users Buying Goods from Spam Emails

29 percent of Internet users have purchased goods from spam emails, according to new research by Internet security company Marshal. The most commonly purchased items include sexual enhancement pills, software, adult material and luxury items such as watches, jewellery and clothing. Marshal's research, which asked 'What purchases have you made from spam,' attracted 622 responses with 29.1 percent indicating that they had made purchases. The poll showed the proportion of spam purchases had risen when compared to a similar Forrester Research poll from 2004, which surveyed 6,000 active Web users and reported 20 percent had made purchases from spam. more»

UK Government Wants to Log Every Call, Text and Email

Britain's local councils, health authorities and hundreds of other public bodies may soon have the ability to access details of all personal text, emails and internet usage under UK's Home Office proposals published yesterday. According to a report from the Guardian, "ministers want to make it mandatory for telephone and internet companies to keep details of all personal internet traffic for at least 12 months so it can be accessed for investigations into crime or other threats to public safety." The Home Office says keeping communications data is critical in order to fight against terrorism. more»

Pump-n-dump Spammer Eddie Davidson and Family Found Dead

Edward Davidson, notorious spammer who had escaped from a minimum-security facility on Sunday has been found dead in Colorado, along with his wife and three-year-old child, in what is suspected to be a murder-suicide. Edward "Eddie" Davidson, 35, was serving 21 months in the minimum security facility in Florence, Colorado, for sending hundreds of thousands of spam emails. He had pleaded guilty to tax evasion and falsifying email headers. It was estimated that Davidson made at least $3.5 million from spamming activities through his company Power Promoters between 2003 and 2006. more»

Notorious Spam King Gets 4 Years in Prison

Robert Soloway, dubbed the "Spam King", who was charged with defrauding people through tens of millions of spam has been given four years in prison for mail fraud, electronic mail fraud, and failing to file a tax return. According to recent reports, federal prosecutors allege that from November 2003 to May 2007, Soloway sent tens of millions of email messages to advertise his company, which offered software to send out broadcast emails. For $495 customers could have an ad sent to 20,000,000 emails, or receive software allowing them to send up to 80,000,000 e-mails. Judge Marsha Pechman said laws governing Spam are very new territory for the courts, and the CAN-SPAM Act allows for only a maximum sentence of only five years. more»

Switzerland Leapfrogged Hong Kong as the Most Spammed Country, Says Recent Study

According to the most recent MessageLabs Intelligence monthly report, Switzerland has become the most spanned nation. From the report: "In June, Switzerland leapfrogged Hong Kong as the most spammed country with levels reaching 84.8% of all email. Many countries received a slight decrease in spam levels, with a few increases elsewhere, for example, spam in UAE rose by 7.4%, the highest increase this month. Spam levels in the US reached 68.8% in June, 77.8% in Canada and 74.3% in the UK. Germany's spam rate reached 73.5% and 73.2% in the Netherlands. Spam levels in Australia were 66.9%, 76.6% in China and 70.7% in Japan." more»

Soloway Court Case Reveals the Sophisticated World of Online Fraud

Testimony received during the sentencing hearing for notorious spammer Robert Alan Soloway has offered an inside look at the big business of online fraud. Although anti-spam efforts implemented by ISPs have deterred many small-time spammers, sophisticated players remain active and they have developed tools to make their efforts easier. From the stand on Monday, investigators revealed some of the techniques that Soloway allegedly used to send out massive amounts of email. After the government seized Soloway's computer servers, investigators found files with as many as 10 million email addresses on each server along with Dark Mailer software on each server. more»

Gmail Collaborate With eBay and PayPal to Fight Phishing

Google has recently announced that it has succeeded in working with eBay and PayPal, also owned by eBay, to fight phishing by using authentication standards DomainKeys and DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM). According to Google, this is the main tool used by Gamil to keep spam out of its inboxes. However, Brad Taylor, Google's Software said in a blog post, that "these systems can only be effective when high volume senders consistently use them to sign their mail -- if they're sending some mail without signatures, it's harder to tell whether it's phishing or not. Well, I'm happy to announce today that by working with eBay and PayPal, we're one step closer to stopping all phishing messages in their tracks." Google hopes this will set a good example for other organizations to follow suit and work towards making email trustworthy. more»

Security Experts Caution Against Latest Strom Warm Campaign Claiming U.S Invasion of Iran

Recent blast of emails linked to Strom Warm attempt to exploit client-side vulnerabilities by stating that the U.S. army has invaded Iran. The email is also reported to contain links to videos. The text reads:

“Just now US Army’s Delta Force and U.S. Air Force have invaded Iran. Approximately 20000 soldiers crossed the border into Iran and broke down the Iran’s Army resistance. The video made by US soldier was received today morning. Click on the video to see first minutes of the beginning of the World War III. God save us.” more»

Antispam Group, MAAWG, Outlines Defenses Against Botnet-Induced Spam

A major antispam organization is pushing a set of new best practices for ISPs to stop increasing volumes of spam from botnets. The guidelines, from the Messaging Anti-Abuse Working Group (MAAWG), were drawn up at a meeting in Germany last week and deal with forwarded email and email that is sent from dynamic IP addresses. From MAAWG's news release issued yesterday... more»

Cyberattack Paralyzed Marshall Islands Email Service

Email communication in the Marshall Islands was paralysed Tuesday after hackers launched a "zombie" computer attack on the western Pacific nation's only Internet service provider, AFP reports. The attack started early Tuesday, in which hackers used zombie computers to flood country's only Internet service provider with spam emails, causing a complete shutdown of email traffic into the nation of around 55,000 people. more»

Anti-Spam Law Violates Free Speech Protections, Says Virginia Court Appeal

A lawyer for Jeremy Jaynes, a man once considered one of the world's most prolific email spammers, has urged the Virginia Supreme Court to strike down a state anti-spam law, arguing it violates free speech protections under the First Amendment. more»

ICANN Responds to "Worst Spam Offenders" and the Recent Knujon Report

ICANN has made an official announcement following earlier reports which suggested domain names registered by most spam sites where linked to a handful of domain registrars. From the ICANN Annoucement: "ICANN has sent enforcement notices and notices of concern to certain registrars, including those reported this week as being the registrars for the majority of websites advertised in spam emails... more»

Serious Gmail Flaw: Security Group Demonstrates Sending Unlimited Spam Using Google's Own Servers

Researchers at Information Security Research Team (INSERT) have dissevered a serious flaw in Google's Gmail service. The group demonstrates how anyone with no special Internet access privileges other than being able to connect to SMTP (TCP port 25) and HTTP (TCP port 80) servers is able to exploit a single Gmail account in order to be granted nearly unrestricted access to Google's massive whitelisted SMTP relay infrastructure. Read more from the report... more»

Significant Chunk of IP Address Space Hijacked by Notorious Mass Emailing Company

Internet address space long ago issued to San Francisco Bay Packet Radio, an organization that was involved way back in the 1970s in testing ARPANET, a predecessor to the global commercial Internet that we all use today. That organization was given the rights to do whatever it wanted with 134.17.0.0/16 address block. That entire swath of Internet space is now registered to an entity in Westminster, Colo., called SF Bay Packet Radio LLC, but except for a similar name, this company has no relation to San Francisco Bay Packet Radio... ? more»

Spam Turns 30

Thirty years ago next week, Gary Thuerk, a marketer at the now-defunct computer firm Digital Equipment Corporation, sent an email to 393 users of Arpanet, the US government-run computer network that eventually became the internet. It was the first spam email ever. That commercial message, sent on 3 May 1978, drew a swift and negative reaction. more»