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Botnet ‘Donbot’ Distributing Spam through Social Network

Internet security company 'MessageLabs' in a new warning states that a prominent botnet has become active and is engaging in some gigantic spam operation to distribute malware via social-networking websites. Specifically, the Donbot network has begun spewing malicious e-mails with the help of Twitter, the widely-used website for micro-blogging, as an associate, said the security company. Within just 24-hours since November 18, 2009, the dispatch of a small number of e-mails transformed into an enormous spam campaign, which contributed 4% share in the worldwide e-mail junk (or spam).

The Donbot pushes bulk of e-mails offering "get-rich-quick" type of schemes in which a user can apparently pay a small fee for trial software. Following the payment of small amount, the user can simply relax and a large sum of money flow in, said the spam e-mail.

Scams of this type, also described as "business opportunities," would appear fine for people who have lost their jobs. However, even after knowing that these schemes are not genuine, people take the risk of spending on the software, or submitting personal information online, hoping that they would take them out of their economic crisis.

MessageLabs further states that the current 'get-rich-quick' spam mails display web-links that take user to 'Twitter.com' as a means to make the e-mails appear legitimate and thereby to help elude anti-spam filters.

According to security investigators, the spam run uses both maliciously created and compromised accounts on Twitter.com.

Additionally, the same scam targeted Facebook too where the scammers utilized fake or compromised profiles for posting updates via the identical Twitter links. The objective of launching that attack was to use Twitter's inbuilt trust both on the technical front and the personal front.

The specialists also stated that malware creators and scammers had lately started using social-networking websites as their much preferred tool to attack. Accordingly, they have been utilizing Twitter, Facebook and similar websites to contaminate fresh visitors in addition to spreading spam.

Finally, MessageLabs cautions people against the scams just discussed, advising them not to get tempted to respond to the e-mails with personal information or fee-payments as the festive season arrives and people look to make some extra money.

Related article: Botnet Misuses Google Analytics

» SPAMfighter News - 11/30/2009

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