Email

Email / News Briefs

Spam Bouncing Back to Original Levels Despite Major Shutdowns

Average level of spam in the second quarter of 2009 has risen by 53 percent, as compared to the first quarter of this year, according to latest report from Google's email security and archiving services group, Postini. The report foresees unpredictable pattern of drops and spikes for the rest of the year... more

Spam Now Over 90% of All Email, Increasing Volumes Involve Social Networking Sites

Spam levels have increased by 5.1% since last month, reaching heights of 90.4%, according to latest report from Symantec's MessageLabs Intelligence... The majority of this increase in spam in May was comprised of messages with very little content other than a subject line and valid hyperlink, says the report. "Each hyperlink pointed to a different active profile on one of a number of major social networking environments. The profiles were likely created using random names and automated CAPTCHA-breaking tools. Moreover, the emails were sent from valid webmail hosting providers, which means they were not spoofed, as has been the case in the past for these types of domains." more

US Military Shopping for Email Defense System to Scan 50 Million Inbound Messages a Day

The Defense Information Systems Agency asked technology companies on Wednesday for ideas on how to build an email defense system on the perimeter of its networks that can scan 50 million inbound messages a day to catch spam, viruses and cyberattacks. In a notice to industry, DISA said it needs to protect 700 unclassified network domains and that, while there are many individual e-mail domains administered by Defense Department units, "there is a possibility these may be combined into one enterprise DoD e-mail domain."... NSA Director Lt. Gen. Keith B. Alexander said 65-70% of the emails sent each day are spam. more

What Google Sees While Processing 2 Billion Enterprise Emails Per Day

While the news will not be terribly surprising to CircleID readers, Google's latest report on the status of spam and 2009 predictions posted today, might be of particular interest due to the company's shear email processing volume at 2 billion enterprise email connections per day (drawn from company owned Postini Message Security network)... more

An Early Look at the State of Spam in 2009, Social Networking Spam on the Rise

As recently reported, spam volumes indicate spam has nearly jumped back up to its pre-McColo shutdown levels. However, Symantec's The State of Spam report has also observed that in recent days spammers are increasingly piggybacking on legitimate newsletters and using the reputation of major social networking sites to try and deliver spam messages into recipients' inboxes... In its special URL investigation the report also indicates that on average approximately 90 percent of all spam messages today contain some kind of a URL. Additionally, analysis of data from past recent days, according to Symantec, have shown that 68% of all URLs in spam messages had a '.com' Top-Level Domain (TLD), 18% had a China's '.cn' ccTLD and 5% had a '.net'. more

Spam Peaked at 200 Billion per Day in 2008, Botnets Nexus of Criminal Activity, Says Cisco

In a 52 page security report released by Cisco, the company has confirmed what has been consistently been observed through out this year: "the Internet-based attacks are becoming increasingly sophisticated and specialized as profit-driven criminals continue to hone their approach to stealing data from businesses, employees and consumers." The 2008 edition of the report has specified the year's top security threats and offers recommendations for protecting networks against attacks that are propagating more rapidly, becoming increasingly difficult to detect, and exploiting technological and human vulnerabilities. more

Internet Black Boxes to Record Every Email and Website Visit in Britain

Under Government plans to monitor internet traffic, raw data would be collected and stored by the black boxes before being transferred to a giant central database. The vision was outlined at a meeting between officials from the Home Office and Internet Service Providers earlier this week. It is further evidence of the Government's desire to have the capability to vet every telephone call, email and internet visit made in the UK, which has already provoked an outcry. more

Malicious Email Attachments Spiked Last Quarter

IT security and control firm Sophos has released the results of its investigation into the latest spam trends and revealed the top twelve spam-relaying countries for the third quarter of 2008. The figures show an alarming rise in the proportion of spam emails sent with malicious attachments between July and September 2008, as well as an increase in spam attacks using social engineering techniques to snare unsuspecting computer users. more

Largest Spam Gang Operation in the World Shutdown by U.S. and New Zealand Authorities

U.S. authorities announced today that they have shut down one of the largest spam operations in the world, an extensive network with ties to Australia, New Zealand, India, China and the United States. The group, dubbed 'HerbalKing' by spam fighting organizations, had been active as far back as 2005 and became notorious as the number one worst spam gang on the Internet for much of 2007 and 2008 according to Spamhaus, a non-profit anti-spam research group. more

Free Web Services Increasingly Used as Spam Hosting Techniques

Picasa Web Albums is the latest of Google's hosted services to be exploited by spammers while Adobe Flash redirection techniques are also being abused by spammers to host Flash-based .SWF, Shockwave Flash, files that cause Web browsers to re-direct to the spammer's site. "Over the course of this year, spammers have been highly focused on using as many of Google's free, hosted services as possible to distribute spam," says Mark Sunner, Chief Security Analyst of MessageLabs. "Not only are the links contained within the spam emails difficult for traditional anti-spam filters to detect as they appear to be legitimate URLs, but it is also much more unlikely such filters will block emails based on the URLs they contain without causing significant collateral damage." more

First Letter of Your Email Address May Be a Factor in Your Spam Volume

Everyone knows that some people get more spam than others, but new research shows that it may have something to do with the first letter of your email address. Richard Clayton, a security researcher at the University of Cambridge in the U.K., says he found evidence that the more common the first letter in your email address is, the more spam you get: in other words, [email protected] typically gets a higher volume of spam than [email protected], or [email protected] He says that's simply because there are more combinations of names that begin with "A" than with "Q" or "Z." more

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