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April Spam Roundup

Spring has sprung and the spam is blooming. April saw email hacking at AOL, spam celebrating a birthday, and lots of new spam campaigns. Let’s take a look at the top spam news for April. AOL Hack Leads to Spam …

April Spam Roundup
   

It’s been 30 years since The Terminator graced big screens with its dystopian view of the future, and (spoiler alert) it didn’t go well for the human race. James Cameron’s sci-fi thriller starring Arnold Schwarzenegger was pretty game-changing for its time, but little did anyone know that the apocalyptic vision of The Terminator would actually come true. Sort of.

Spam’s been around for awhile now, and the nasty blight on modern society was bad enough before the bots got involved. But now that spam is automated, it’s gotten worse, and you might be surprised to learn just how much of modern spam is controlled by botnets. Hint: it’s a big number.

Think Terminator was Fantasy? Think Again. Bot Traffic on the Rise
   

Massive Spam Campaign Pushes Zeus Variant

A massive new spam campaign is targeting several major companies and its payload is a variant of the infamous Zeus Trojan. Security experts spotted the campaign over the weekend and said major corporations like Facebook, Bank of America and Twitter …

Massive Spam Campaign Pushes Zeus Variant
   

Spam is a social disease. That’s a fair way to describe it, because it’s pervasive in modern society, it’s widely considered to be undesirable, it often has a harmful purpose, and it seems to get worse with time. When we discuss spam, we often focus on the worst spam – the ‘original’ spam, if you will, the spam that’s gestated in sick minds lurking in the darkest holes the world can muster. And for good reason, because that form of the disease is by far the most nefarious and dangerous type. And most discussions on spam don’t begin with spam from ‘legitimate’ providers, because that’s often thought to be benign, a nuisance that comes from someone you know and trust, and therefore, it should be okay, right?

Does Legitimacy Make LinkedIn and Zoosk Spam All Right?
   

Some Spam We’re Likely to See

Whenever there is something big in the news cycle you can be sure that the spammers will be launching new campaigns on the coattails of the event. They know that they can use people’s familiarity with the topic along with emotional hooks to get a better open rate. The more recipients that open their emails, the higher the percentage of victims they will be able to take advantage of; it is a simple numbers game.

In the coming months, here are a few subjects that you can expect spammers to take advantage of…

Some Spam We’re Likely to See
   

How to Avoid Looking Like a Snowshoe Spammer

If you’ve ever found yourself on a blacklist, you might be guilty of snowshoe spamming. Have you ever been told your marketing email practices make you look like a snowshoe spammer? If so you might be wondering what the heck …

How to Avoid Looking Like a Snowshoe Spammer
   

When news of the Heartbleed bug first surfaced we all learned that the OpenSSL extension used by most websites and software made it easy for malicious hackers to view private information like usernames, passwords and credit card details. Information we once though to be secured through encryption was now exposed, and while news of sites affected by this vulnerability spread people around the world scrambled to change their passwords on different accounts and check to make sure that no one was using their credit cards without their permission.

Heartbleed Spam
   

GoDaddy, you got some ‘splainin’ to do!

Normally, that phrase (or one like it) invokes comical images, but this is no laughing matter, if appearances are fact. You see, the true power in the modern Webworld lies in the control and protection of user information. Just take a look at the mayhem caused, and still being caused, by Heartbleed. The feeding frenzy and panic will go on for some time, as websites everywhere try to pick up the pieces after discovering that their beloved SSL wasn’t quite as secure as the first S (it’s the first S, for God’s sake!) led people to believe.

GoDaddy has Some Serious ‘Splaining to do, Gives User Information to a Spammer
   

Happy Birthday, Spam!

This month marks spam’s 20th birthday. On April 11, 1994, two lawyers flooded Usenet newsgroups with messages hawking a green card lottery. The messages were not received well, and somewhere along the line a classic Monty Python skit became forever linked …

Happy Birthday, Spam!
   

AOL Email Accounts Hacked

AOL announced that they are investigating a security breach that may have compromised members’ personal information. Yes, I know, you probably didn’t think there was anyone who still had an AOL account, but unbelievably, there are. (Not only that, but …

AOL Email Accounts Hacked
   

Last Comments

  • Aussie on India Tops List of World’s Biggest Spammers August 16, 2014

    ALL my SEO spam comes from Indians. They are a big pain in the arse.

  • Andrew on Spammers Get Sleazier with Attachment within Attachment Technique August 14, 2014

    This is more relevant to the home user, who typically operates with a low level of protection against such threats. Businesses will employ sophisticated techniques at the border (eg: removal of or cloaking of ZIP files to render inert). Home users have no such luxury available to them at a reasonable cost. Until ISPs actually start offering business grade mail protection/filtering to their customers, then the consumer is on his/her own and must remain diligent. If you didn't initiate a request with the sender, then don't open the damned attachment. If you get an email claiming to be from your bank which contains an attachment, don't open it - your bank would never send you a ZIP'd archive to open anyway. Check links contained in email body before you go ahead an click on them - for instance, hovering over a link in an email will ususally display a tooltip with the actual web address encoded, rather than the false link displayed in the email content. Simple checks that anyone can perform before committing a single or double-left click on something that could cost dearly.... Diligence people! If you are, then you already made the spammers hit-rate that much lower, by simply not sleep-walking into an infection. Relying on anti-virus/malware protection apps is allowing people to abrogate themselves of a basic responsibility to know what you're doing and how it can affect your machine - adversely or otherwise. We insist that people reach a basic level of proficiency to drive a car. We need something similar for the consumer directed web....

  • Santine on Does Legitimacy Make LinkedIn and Zoosk Spam All Right? July 31, 2014

    Before we go any further--let's skip Papa John's--let's go back to the main issue: these huge companies that are allowed to spam simply because they are, well, and sending mails is just a way of marketing their products and services more. That's definitely a bull, don't you think? The title is even misleading since there's nothing legitimate with spamming.

  • Elizabeth on Do You Trust Your Bank Not to Spam You? Read This July 31, 2014

    I've come across a book about innovation, and it mentioned that banks are some of the worst in this department simply because it is very traditional. Simply put, it just continues what it has been doing for many years, even as long as hundreds of years for those very large European banks. In the process, they don't really protect themselves when they attempt to go online and make our hard-earned money and very important personal information extremely vulnerable to identity theft, among others.