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Pornographic Spam Maligns Google Groups

According to InformationWeek news published on March 4, 2008, pictures and videos containing porn started appearing on pages of Google Groups with harmful malware during first two days of March 2008.

On March 4, 2008 InformationWeek also published a statement by Alex Eckelberry, Chief Executive Officer of Sunbelt Software, a security firm, as posting on a blog saying that the pages push further porn pages to gain financial profit.

Eckelberry said that although all the Google Group pages do not redirect visitors to malicious sites, the company has observed some of them pointing to a particular site, which eventually installs a codec Trojan, leading to an infection by VirusHeat.

Sunbelt Software, the anti-spyware company, reports to have identified over 270 Google Group pages that are connected to intense porn, apparently increasing "like cockroaches" , as reported by The Register on March 3, 2008.

Security experts say that Google pages could be spammed with splogs or pornographic pictures, as Google Groups, the online forum for discussion is available for free to anyone, owning an account with Google.

According to Sunbelt, the company has alerted Google about the existence of the lewd pointers to spam blogs or splogs that promote a wide range of things from air conditioners to "smoking by female celebrities."

Also, during the end week of February 2008, Websense, an Internet security organization, said that online spammers are almost 20% successful in cracking Google's CAPTCHA (Completely, Automated Public Turning test to tell Computers and Humans Apart) utility, which tries to stop spammers from automatically creating or abusing accounts.

In the opinion of Adam Thomas, a security researcher at Sunbelt, it is possible that spammers are using bots in order to escape Google's defenses, as reported by InformationWeek on March 4, 2008.

Adding to comments of Thomas, Eckelberry said that the seemingly automated spam attack on Google Groups seemed to be a new phenomenon. He said that assuming zero cost set up accompanied with automated systems, the new spam method would probably be quite profitable.

Meanwhile, a spokesman for Google said that the company has eliminated the Google Groups and the accounts involved for infringing on its 'Terms of Service', as reported by InformationWeek on March 4, 2008.

Related article: Pornography, No More Favored By Spammers

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