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Chain E-mails Spread Spam Scam

Anti-virus firm, Sophos doubts that spammers in the pretence to carry out a 'sociological research project' are digging at fresh e-mail addresses for more spamming campaigns.

Spammers have spammed e-mail campaign calling it a research project in the form of chain mails and joke messages to distribute among e-mail users across the world. Sending chain letters and jokes is very common and it can be easily done by a person to the list of all ids in his address book or to an entire department of a company. The spamming ends up with legitimate e-mail addresses for everyone who receives the message.

In connection to this Mr. Ducklin, head of technology in Asia Pacific for Sophos said that while the genuine senders believe that their e-mail database would be used for a sociological research, the spammers who get a high quality e-mail id database actually use them for fraudulent purposes.

The spam mails come from 'Gemma' - a supposedly female researcher who claims to need the addressees' help to complete an online project. Some portion of the spam mail is described as follows -

The author requests the reader to forward just anything and everything that is similar to chain mail. The forwards could be of any type. Then she goes on to say that the project is a one-year assignment and she needs at least 500,000 forwards to make the project a success. So she urges that more the forwards come the better it would be.

Sophos technology consultant, Graham Cluley said that under the guise of 'research', spammers were duping Internet users into submitting dozens of e-mail addresses as they forward each message. The least harm that could result is spam being sent to all friends and colleagues and the maximum harm is to put them all at risk of identity theft. Mr. Cluley therefore advises computer users to break the chain and not reply to messages like this one.

According to Sophos, PC users should delete the e-mail and spoil the chain. Corporate users must protect their e-mail gateways with an all-comprehensive solution to defend against viruses, spyware and spam.

Related article: China’s Best Initiatives To Deal With Spam

» SPAMfighter News - 9/23/2006

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