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Symantec Releases its December 2008 Spam Report

According to the predictions in "State of Spam Report for December 2008" that Symantec released in the 2nd week of December 2008, although spam volume dipped after a number of providers prevented access to websites that McColo host, it will increase again.

The study shows that the con artists are shifting to other areas and many of them are using IP addresses in China to host their sites.

The study further notes that spammers are imitating marketing techniques of lawful retailers by offering vacation shopping deals. This makes it difficult to identify precisely who is sending the e-mail. At times, the line demarcating the lawful and the illegal becomes slightly blurry and spammers always turn that to their advantage.

The report also discloses that there are plenty of links in spam mails pointing to malicious websites and using political news to attract victims. Topics related to Barack Obama are particularly popular with scammers and spammers.

Breaking news were also utilized as bait to download harmful programs. Particularly, the recent Mumbai (India) terrorist attacks were used in links crafted to infect systems. In fact, many of these malicious programs are created to convert a PC into a "zombie" machine that from a network of other zombies is utilized to distribute more spam.

In addition, the researchers at Symantec also stated that the return of image spam could mean trouble for unguarded mail systems. According to the findings of the report, image spam hit only up to 10% of the total spam in November 2008 in comparison to the sharp heights of 52% in 2007.

Moreover, recent spam mails that Symantec observed included a home scam campaign that involved a job offer relating to the relay of inter-bank payments. Further, during recent weeks, Symantec observed a rise in e-mails advertising online casinos that typically offered a VIP treatment or cash bonus.

The security specialists said that in spite of a number of control and command centers going offline with the shutdown of McColo.com, new ones are expected to crop up based on sophisticated and more targeted spam campaigns.

Related article: Sentence for American Contractor for Sabotaging Government Navy Computers

» SPAMfighter News - 20-12-2008

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