Cyber Criminals Hack Code, Raising Global Spam Levels
Two scientists at Newcastle University had discovered flaws in Yahoo and Microsoft's spam filters, which were considered to be strong enough to check any abuse, according to the news reports published in Journal Live on October 22, 2008.
News reports stated that Newcastle University's PhD student, Ahmad Salah El Ahmad along with Dr Jeff Yan rendered their research discoveries directly to Microsoft and Yahoo for enhancing their systems security.
The scientists, while talking about their research, declared that the CAPTCHA (Completely Automated Public Turing Test to Tell Computers and Humans Apart), a system of wavy, contorted alphabetic characters that had to be read and written within a box prior to opening any email account or while joining any social networking Website, could be cracked by cyber criminals and spammers in mere 80 Milliseconds.
News reports also revealed that the scientist had created 'neural networking' methods to avert arcs in the links between alphabets and the discerned symbols. After attempting it, they observed that they could solve sixty percent of the codes right away.
The researchers also disclosed that this code system has become a standard technology utilized to safeguard against automated 'bots' - capable of capturing innumerable email accounts for distribution of spam emails or for affixing ads on blogs. These code systems are utilized by several Websites like Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo, resulting in a steady rise in global spam volumes.
According to Dr Yan, low-cost workforce is responsible for the (spam) rise and CAPTCHA protection is strong enough to safeguard accounts. Low-paid workers in developing nations were being employed to decipher the codes, as reported by Journal Live on October 22, 2008.
But, news reports further stated that the CAPTCHA technique, meant to defend all systems from unsolicited emails and other security threats, which was capable of defending just 1 in 10,000 automated 'bot attacks', had now been upgraded utilizing Dr Yan's advice.
After this project, Dr Yan and Mr. El Ahmad are planning to invent a 'tool box', which would have a variety of techniques permitting firms to assess the effectiveness of their upcoming systems, helping them to evaluate the strength of their online system's safety.
Related article: Cyber Child abuser Sentenced To Imprisonment
» SPAMfighter News - 06-11-2008