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Spam Touched 94% of Total Mails in Q3 2008

On October 15, 2008 Commtouch, a security firm, released its trending report for Q3 2008. The firm said that the level of spam touched 94% of total mails during July 2008, with a minimum of 61% in the beginning of 2008. The report also revealed the trend of cloaking that multiplied during Q3 2008.

As per the report, hackers worked cruelly in the Q3 2008 and discovered new methods to send spam from authentic mail domains and servers, taking benefit of the fact that they escape all mail defenses. The technique used by hackers and receiving the wide coverage is CAPTCHA (Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell the Computers and Humans apart) cracking.

Further, men are being paid to crack the CAPTCHA code, though a small wage, but now there are full teams performing this job. The cracked codes of CAPTCHA are used on authentic services like Tripod.com and Live.com to flood the Web with junk and spam mails. This implies that CAPTCHA is finished and now a stronger thing should take its place. The involvement of humans in cloaking techniques also multiplied in the number of phishing attacks where hacked mail accounts were used to send spam.

The report revealed that Germany stands at the top in terms of fast rate of zombie IP address turnover with around 79% per day. China is at second place with 78% per day.

Further, in July 2008, a blended threat attack was used promising of showing gruesome videos, which have acts of human cruelty and bodily destruction. The report added that grotesque subject lines were employed which lured the user to open the mail.

Chief Technology Officer of Commtouch, Amir Lev, said that the trend is that hackers use the efficient rapport made by other sites and senders in order to surpass the effective mail filters. They performed this task in many ways, including stealing authentic mail senders' credentials, or hacking mail account enrollment processes and registering several free mail accounts. This places the ISPs in the insecure place of becoming the origin of outbound spam instead of safeguarding their subscribers from getting spam.

Related article: Spam Scam Bags a Scottish Connection

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