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Spam Traffic Rising Due To Image Spam

Image spam has contributed largely to the general increase in unsolicited mail traffic in the past few years, with image spam increasing from 5 percent to 40 percent of total spam during 2006, as per Symantec, the security company.

Image spams utilizing an image implanted in a message instead of normal text, have got recognition among spammers trying to convey their promotional e-mails to net users. Usually, image spam is utilized for advertising stock of fraudulent pump-and-dump schemes or medicines for weight loss.

The cause is apparent -- as anti-spam screens become securer and more adept at identifying the distinctive "incoherency" reflecting a spam message, spammers are exploiting images that are tougher for filters to inspect, and therefore simpler to reach users' inboxes.

But, Doug Bowers, Symantec's senior director of anti-abuse engineering, informed SCMagazine.com, "In the previous month, we've witnessed image spam varying greatly. It dropped somewhat on the last day, however at its climax also it was unvarying at 48 percent, thus it's a large variation," he said. "It's still not believable that we're witnessing a major slump right away. We don't possess sufficient information to check whether it's a tendency," informed SCMagazine in beginning of May.

According to CSO's Scott Berinato, "The conceit supporting image spam is elegant in its ease: PCs can't monitor... analyzing an image can confuse a filter since it experiences only disturbance -- countless 0s and 1s in no distinct form," informs Consumer Affairs on May 22, 2007. Instead of embedding spam images within a message, spammers use well-known picture and graphics hosting sites to display their spam images, and install them immediately in the message, making it even simpler to bypass a spam filter into an unwary client's inbox.

"The total image spam in motion nearly duplicated in 2006 and is by now turning out to be one of the major spamming manners of 2007 since it's very difficult for the anti-spam filters depending on scrutiny of textual spam e-mails to find it," said Graham Cluley, Sophos' senior technology consultant in a report issued by Help Net Security in mid-week of May, 2007.

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