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Spammers Exploit YouTube Service to Relay Junk E-mails

Cyber offenders have converted a YouTube facility into a channel relaying spam. YouTube features a service with which users can invite others to watch videos they have posted on the Internet.

In a latest development, spammers are sending out huge amounts of spam by using this "Invite Your Friends" service, said Marshal's Director of Product Management, Bradley Anstis. Marshal is a leading secure integrated e-mail and internet management firm. The service was actually designed to let users invite their friends to view films that they find interesting, or have put up on the Internet. The spammers are even exploiting YouTube's advices given to the users to include service@youtube.com in their e-mail address book or list without filters, so that they can receive e-mails from friends who have video links.

All the messages that originate from service@youtube.com appear like that of a real YouTube invite. But there is an exception in that there are promotional messages for get-rich-quick schemes and penis pills rather than links to videos. Both act as junks, which explains why cyber criminals took up the tactic.

In August 2007, spammers had employed a Trojan to generate a huge number of Gmail and Hotmail accounts from which they sent spam. According to Marshal, the new YouTube exploitation is working in a similar fashion.

Anstis pointed out how spammers are employing this tactic to beat spam filters and taking users off guard by crafting the messages in such a manner that they seem to be from a harmless e-mail address. TechRepublic published this on October 5, 2007.

Latest statistics suggest that over the recent years, a popular way of sending spam mails has been through hijacked Windows systems that hackers get to control. But spammers keep looking for new techniques to make sure that their junk e-mails get through. Before the rise of botnets, a widely used method for spamming was through unsecured corporate servers that provided open relays.

In 2004, Bill Gates declared that the problem of spam would be solved by 2006. In 2004, the number of unsolicited e-mails distributed per day was 30 Million, but it has gone up to 90 Million in 2007.

Related article: Spammers Continue their Campaigns Successfully

» SPAMfighter News - 10/18/2007

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