Spam Messages Take Cover under Google Docs
Cyber security firm, McAfee, revealed that spammers are using Google Docs to spread their junk messages. Their messages contain Google Doc links, which are hard to be identified as a spam by security software.
On visiting the links, the user finds the common junk messages that provide alluring offers on pharmaceuticals, stocks or similar such products. Security Experts at McAfee are of the opinion that people are more likely to get trapped by these spam messages because they seem to have come from a reputable firm like Google. Otherwise, they normally would pay no heed and even delete them as soon possible.
The Researchers at McAfee added that by hosting junk messages on a legitimate site like Google Docs, spammers have made it tougher for anti-spam security to block them. Consequently, these junk mails are more likely evade the radar of spam-mail filters.
Dave Marcus, Security Research and Communications Manager, McAfee's Avert Labs, said that the spam embedded into Google Docs bypass certain types of content filters because the link that directs is a valid link, and thus cleverly bypass content filters because no security software would block Google, as reported by eChannelLine on June 18, 2008.
Additionally, McAfee alerted a caution about using the 'Feeling Lucky' option in Google. As this function gives back the top results for a search query, spammers have created specific sites that would be returned as the only site for certain queries on Google. Thus, only the Website crafted by them appears through the search query.
The methodology that spammers adopted is when a person does a "Google search", he is directed to a completely legitimate page but clicking on the link, redirects the user to the spammer's Website. It could possible lead to the user being conned of money through some penny stock offer or even cause a malware infection to the computer system.
Security analysts have, therefore, reminded that any unsolicited email, no matter how authentic looking, should be deleted immediately.
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» SPAMfighter News - 03-07-2008