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Spam & botnets – unholy alliance

Posted by Michael Bloch in web marketing (Sunday August 20, 2006 )

Spam Labs is also reporting a marked uptick in spam outbreaks, up substantially from the beginning of the month and currently at the highest level since the beginning of the year.

Just on a side note – I’ve been noticing a new form type of spam recently whereby an email arrives with an overdue “invoice” attached. The attachment is just a Word document peddling illegal software, but the first email that came in was rather convincing in its language. It really did seem to be an authentic communication; so keep an eye out for that one. View email headers if you’re in doubt before opening any attachments and ensure your virus scanner is up to date and running in the background at all times. While the attachment in this case was annoying but harmless, you can never be sure that the next one won’t contain a nasty surprise.

By the way – having an up to date anti-virus program and being careful with email attachments are only one part of protecting your system, these days it’s an absolute must to have a firewall installed and active on your computer.

Related:

Anti-hacking tips

How spam and viruses wind up in your inbox

Email filtering services guide & review.

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What do you do after your machine has been compromised by spam trojans controlled by a botnet? According to one security researcher; wipe it and start again.

It’s quite amazing the lengths that spammers are going to these days to crank out their junk mailings, especially since some began teaming up with hackers and virus writers – it’s truly an unholy alliance.

The very scary issue is that some of these spam trojan infections can go undetected for days by many anti-virus programs when they are first released as the anti-virus companies are constantly in catchup mode. Once a machine has been compromised, the possibility of all sorts of other malware having been installed also rears its ugly head, hence the advice to format your drive and start anew.

Joe Stewart, a researcher from LURHQ’s Threat Intelligence Group recently spied on a botnet controlled spam attack and has published some very interesting information on how it all worked; well worth a read even if you don’t understand all the technobabble.

It’s certainly a complex and refined operation Joe writes about and given the lengths the perpetrators went to, it shows that there still must be a good buck to be made from spamming.

Spam Labs is also reporting a marked uptick in spam outbreaks, up substantially from the beginning of the month and currently at the highest level since the beginning of the year.

Just on a side note – I’ve been noticing a new form type of spam recently whereby an email arrives with an overdue “invoice” attached. The attachment is just a Word document peddling illegal software, but the first email that came in was rather convincing in its language. It really did seem to be an authentic communication; so keep an eye out for that one. View email headers if you’re in doubt before opening any attachments and ensure your virus scanner is up to date and running in the background at all times. While the attachment in this case was annoying but harmless, you can never be sure that the next one won’t contain a nasty surprise.

By the way – having an up to date anti-virus program and being careful with email attachments are only one part of protecting your system, these days it’s an absolute must to have a firewall installed and active on your computer.

Related:

Anti-hacking tips

How spam and viruses wind up in your inbox

Email filtering services guide & review.



 

 
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