India - Bots, Bot-herders & Spam Abound in ’07 but with New Tricks

According to Symantec, provider of Web security solutions, in 2007, the worldwide increase in junk e-mails, trojans and phishing was measured at 61%, slightly higher than 59% during the second half of 2006.

Director, security response, Symantec, India, Prabhat Kumar Singh, said that the revival of spam in 2007 was due to image spam as the primary attack tactic. spammers launched various kinds of spam "firsts" all through the year, such as techniques of hiring bot-herders, Google searches and alerts, and video and audio files. They also experimented with various protocols like SMS, Instant Messaging (IM) and online games, said Singh. CXOtoday published this on December 24, 2007.

Considering examples of spam mails 'firsts', Singh pointed to the Storm Trojan, also called the Peacomm Trojan, that appeared in January 2007. He said that opening spam mails could pose serious risk in certain cases. MiD-Day published this on December 24, 2007.

Taking the case of Peacomm Trojan, when users clicked on the spam mail, they unwittingly downloaded a malicious code, which converted their PC into a remotely controlled bot.

This implied that a spammer or bot-herder could control such robot computers remotely and issue commands to spam out junk e-mails. Just for this, people should never open a spam or junk e-mail however luring it might appear.

According to Singh, in recent activities, spammers and phishers have been jointly working to breed cyber crime. The security company has even identified highly coordinated attacks that blended malicious code, spam and Internet fraud. CXOtoday published this.

Symantec has also observed spammers to randomly include people into their spam lists. In November 2007, a huge amount of blank e-mails were distributed to launch a planned directory harvest type of attack. The messages that arrived with an empty body and subject line obviously had no purpose for the end user.

In 2007, although 74% of the Indian web traffic was spam still, Singh hopes that a permanent answer would be derived for the spam problem. He said that over the past few months, there had been a steady fall in spam, primarily due to adoption of effective anti-spyware mechanisms. MiD-Day published this.

Related article: India Remains an Easy Target for Hackers in '06

» SPAMfighter News - 05-01-2008

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