Cutwail Botnet Pumping Out X-Rated SpamWritten by Sue Walsh on June 1, 2012
The Cutwail botnet has launched a new spam campaign. Security researchers have detected a sharp increase in the number of spam messages with X-rated subject lines and content. The messages offer to help men feel more confident in bed or claim to advertise websites offering free collections of pornographic images or movies. The subject matter is obviously designed to be attention getting, but the links don’t lead to the promised adult material. Instead, anyone who clicks on them will be directed to a shady online pharmacy site that offers fake versions of popular prescription drugs like Viagra, and Xanax. These sites have been mentioned here before. It’s likely they are run by factories in India and China that make counterfeit drugs. The manufacturing process is not regulated or supervised in any way, making the drugs potentially quite dangerous. While there are no reports of anyone ever having become ill from taking them, the FDA issued an advisory warning people to avoid ordering from such sites.
There’s another reason people should stay away as well. As the campaign is being run by a botnet, its goal goes beyond simply selling fake drugs, Cutwail is also looking to propagate itself and increase its stable of zombies, so if you click on any of the links in the spam it sends up, you’ll probably be served up some malware along with those fake drugs.
Cutwail has been around since 2007. In 2010 it launched a DDoS attack against hundreds of popular websites including Paypal, Twitter, and the FBI.