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Google’s Picasa Web Album Helps Spammers to Send More Spam

According to the Intelligence Report for August 2008 by MessageLabs, a firm that provides Web and messaging security services, Google Picasa Web Albums, a new Google hosted service, will be maliciously used by spammers as they are already exploiting Adobe Flash redirection techniques.

Spammers use Adobe Flash redirection techniques to host Shockwave Flash and Flash-based.SWF files that take users to spammer's Website. Though both the new techniques represented around 2% of the overall spam mails in August 2008, MessageLabs believes that spammers will increasingly use them to generate massive spam mails in coming months.

Moreover, the spam volume in August 2008 surged 160% that led to a 3% increase in the overall spam level. The unprecedented upsurge in the spam volume is attributed to growth in Cutwail and Srizbi botnets, which expanded around 20 to 25% in the last two months (July & August). Also, the spam activity in August 2008 was similar to previous month's activity when precise and text-based mails mainly penetrated inboxes.

Further, the rise in spam volume was largely due to rising capacity of both the botnets. Also, 64% of the total number of e-mails contained malicious links that spoofed bogus online postcards and virtual greeting cards, up 51.8% from July 2008.

Surprisingly, in this race of spoofing, French were the winner though loser appears much more appropriate as France became the most spammed country last month across the globe with spam volume touching 3.5% with a spam saturation level of 82.8%.

Besides, the largest increase (of 2.75%) in virus activity was recorded in Italy. The country also witnessed the highest increase in spam levels, up 13.9% to 71.3% of the entire e-mails that were categorized as spam.

The spam levels in Australia stood at 66.5% in August 2008, following the UK with 67.9%. Canada surpassed both the countries with 70.8% while the Netherlands and the US closed at 73.1% and 76.6% respectively. China got the second place with 78.3% of all the e-mails classified as junk.

Moreover, the company said that in the remaining months of this year, spammers would focus their attention on abusing free-hosted services of Google to maximum effect.

Related article: Google Rectifies Gmail flaw in Three Days

» SPAMfighter News - 9/10/2008

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