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Spammers Misused URL-Condensing Services Symantec

According to the yearly report "MessageLabs Intelligence 2010 Security Report" by Symantec Corp. released during December 2010, spammers began abusing URL-condensing services during 2010.

Actually, when this service was launched, spammer, on that same day, sent out 20% of the entire spam across the Web with URLs that were shortened with link-condensing services, the report notes.

In a remark about these discoveries, Senior Analyst Paul Smith for the Hosted Services unit of Symantec states that spammers with just one Bit.ly URL created 352m spam mails during a period of 3 days in September 2010. Consequently, over 18,000 responses emerged. Smith analyzes, considering that the e-mails' standard was direct, the number of responses isn't really all that bad, while considering that spammers incurred little cost towards generating those junk e-mails, the number of responses seems even good. Networkworld.com published Smith's statement on December 31, 2010.

Moreover, according to the security analyst, the September spam mails usually led users onto websites that promoted items like watches and pharmaceuticals. However, the embedded links could also lead onto websites that contained malicious software. As a result, the messages proved beyond merely an annoyance. What's more the links could divert users onto phishing websites which seized users' sensitive personal data, Smith explains.

Symantec, within its MessageLabs Intelligence 2010 Security Report, outlines that the use of URL-condensing services within social-networking websites are getting more and more crucial, especially those which mandate limiting characters in the final inputs from users such as in Twitter. During 2010, Symantec observed several attack codes utilizing URL-condensing services, which took onto hijacked websites, the company reports.

In the end, the company through the yearly report states that during 2011, there will expectedly be more sophisticated URL-shortening based assaults in which a business of cyber-criminals will compromise an important URL-condensing service say TinyURL or Bit.ly alternatively a cyber-crooks syndicate will craft a service, which will look authentic as also run like any real service prior to it getting used for malevolent purposes. Even sporadic malevolent utilization in the garb of an authentic-looking service may turn out extremely effective, the company adds in its conclusion.

Related article: Spammers Continue their Campaigns Successfully

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