Microsoft Word Attachments Can Bypass Filters!
Internet users are warned to be cautious of Word files that arrive as attachments with e-mail messages. The warning comes from 'Content security specialists', Marshal that says spamming have started using Word files as attachments in which the spammers write their messages and evade strong spam filters.
Traditionally the norm was to avoid MS Word in e-mail messages because the size of the e-mail with a Word document makes the message comparatively much larger than if the message is written and sent as normal e-mail. But as spam filters are becoming increasingly smarter and stronger, they are able to divert the spam e-mail written as normal e-mail with messages embedded in an image or acrobat document to the spam folder.
According to Bradley Anstis, director of product management, Marshal, Word processors these days can open Word documents, which was not possible earlier. Moreover, Word document increases the size and complicates the process of sending an e-mail. This is probably the reason why people have been keeping away from this method in the past.
Spam e-mail with the Word document type looks like a typical business e-mail with a subject line describing the business. The mail attachment has a business name too that tends the curious recipient to open it. The body of the e-mail contains insignificant or no text at all but the attached Word file contains the spam message. Once the attachment is opened it downloads malware.
Word spam first appeared on August 17, 2006 and since then there have been more than 100 instances of Word spam, according to reports.
Since spammers now find their spam messages getting increasingly caught by improved anti-spam filters, they are innovating new techniques to try to overcome them. They are even prepared to pay the penalty issued for crossing message size limits so that they are able to get their spam messages through spam filters.
In the above type of spam where Word files are likely to contain malware the situation becomes even more dangerous. Therefore security experts strongly recommend users to deploy good anti-spam and anti-virus solution with regular updates in their systems and follow safe surfing practices.
Related article: Microsoft Patches Live OneCare to Tackle Quarantined E-Mails
» SPAMfighter News - 01-09-2006