Online Gaming, Significant Contributor to Spam
Spam threat from the Philippines is continuously growing with the increase in online gaming; such is the observation by security experts at Symantec. Also, the company's recent Internet Security Threat Report reveals that the Philippines is next in rank after Uzbekistan in proliferating junk e-mail in the region. This finding suggests that 99% of the e-mails sent or received in the Philippines are expected to be spam.
Other nations in the neighborhood with large amounts of spam in total e-mail distributed are Vietnam at 84%, South Korea at 83% and Mongolia at 82%.
Senior Technical Consultant, Richard Velasco, for Symantec Philippines said that the growth in spam could be the result of increased usage of broadband within the country. Further, because of this increasing broadband usage, thousands of users log on to the popular 'Massive Multiplayer Online Games' or MMOGs simultaneously, where the players are required to buy game credits mostly online through credit cards. Inquirer Net reported this on November 17, 2007.
An increase in the number of MMOG networks have thus resulted in a huge number of spam that dupe users into divulging their credit card information or even passwords, making the gaming networks an expanding security threat, Velasco added.
In general, spam mails are crafted to make people give away personal information such as particulars of credit card. However, this doesn't essentially mean that computer users in the Philippines are the only people responsible for such illegal activities. Symantec' report further reveals that there is an increasing number of botnets in the Philippines, according to Velasco who was referring to malware-infected PCs that hackers control and command to distribute spam.
The increase in the number of cyber cafes in the Philippines and the resulting increase in the connectivity are possible reasons for the growth in 'bots' or harmful software that enable hackers to take over computers silently. Nearly all spammers get paid to distribute the unsolicited e-mails through strategically synchronized assaults on targeted domains.
Another revelation in the report points to Manila as the third worst Asian city to push out zombie-based spam, i.e., send spam from compromised PCs within the Asian cities on account of the high figure of spam zombie-infected systems.
Related article: Online Card Fraud Shows Greater Tendency Than Chip and Pin
» SPAMfighter News - 03-12-2007