Spammers Attaching ‘Unsubscribe’ & ‘Read Receipts’ to Messages
Security investigators at BitDefender have found a new surge of spam mails that present a combination of "unsubscribe" and "read receipt" links in attempts to trick recipients into verifying their e-mail IDs as real and active.
The security specialists said that the spam operation promotes sex medication to enhance sex life like male enhancement pills. But if the user double-clicks the "opt-out" or "unsubscribe" link, it confirms to the spammer that the e-mail ID is legitimate and active, leading to more spam.
The "read receipt" link is also used in the same manner. Normally such a link confirms that the user has received and gone through the message. But when a spammer attaches a "read receipt" link to e-mail and the recipient clicks it, it easily proves that the e-mail ID is real and active.
The researchers opined that this new "unsubscribe" and "read receipt" spam operation is resulting in a lot of infections and once again proves the ingenuity of the cyber criminals and their increased sophistication with spamming methods.
Head of anti-spam Research, Vlad Valceanu, BitDefender, said that users should know that if they do not use the right security solution, their systems' integrity is at high risk. For to confirm the legitimacy of the e-mail ID implies that the account-holder has opened all doors for the spammers to attack his/her inbox, said Valceanu. SCMagazine reported this on October 7, 2008.
Valceanu added that the spammers' e-mail messages could contain malware capable of wiping out data or digging at and transmitting sensitive data; for e.g. credit card details when the user keys them in to buy goods online.
Hence, BitDefender suggests certain guidelines that users should practice to keep their systems spam-free. They should deploy, run and update a dependable anti-spam, anti-phishing and anti-malware security solution, and should take care not to allow automatic expedition of "read receipts".
Moreover, BitDefender advises for deletion of spam mails, avoidance of viewing e-mails and attachments from unknown senders and e-mails with unusual subject lines, and avoidance of clicking links in spam mails, even the "unsubscribe" ones.
Related article: Spammers Continue their Campaigns Successfully
» SPAMfighter News - 16-10-2008