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New Spam Attacks Instant Messenger Users

Symantec, a vendor of security services, has spotted a form of Instant Messaging (IM) spam that pretends to offer the recipient an opportunity to inspect his contact list in the messenger and indicate the name(s) he would want to be eliminated, as reported by Inquirer on June 11, 2008.

Also, according to Symantec, these spam mails target people using IM tools such as Microsoft's MSN Messenger and Yahoo Messenger. The messages invite the recipients to click on a URL that notifies the source that removed their name from IM, and then request for their username and password.

Symantec also warns that usernames and passwords could be stolen due to the increasing use of IM for both businesses and consumers purposes. The company notes that a lot of people apply the same username and password when they browse the Internet

Symantec further revealed that spammers are also targeting Websites like Google that end-users tend to trust. In April 2008, Symantec identified phishing e-mail posing to be from the Google AdWords service with which advertisers can connect with people using Google search.

In these phishing e-mails, the recipient is lured to click on a link to verify his billing details and/or to renew his account. The URL in these fake e-mails points to a bogus Website where the user's private information is sought. Symantec estimated that around 80% of all e-mail exchanged globally is spam.

Furthermore, with this rate of spam, as observed in May 2008, the economic slack is now an attractive target for spammers, who prey on people's hardship not just in the US but around the world.

In May 2008, the US program for economic stimulus and the Myanmar and China natural disasters flooded inboxes with allurements crafted to dupe people into parting from their money or worse still from their financial and personal information by simply dropping a malware onto their computer.

Besides, in somewhat similar news, Ipsos, a research company, said that due to viruses, spam and other Internet threats, communication tools like Web meeting or IM are now far less significant than e-mail.

Related article: New Zealand Releases Code To Reduce Spam

» SPAMfighter News - 26-06-2008

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