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Secure Computing Highlights Three Major Spam Campigns

Secure Computing Corporation has released its monthly report on spam for September 2008 that highlights the spam trends along with three dominant spam surge during August 2008.

According to the company, of the three spam outbreaks, CNN/MSNBC News spam was most dominant.

Recently, the new spam tactic employed to dupe users into downloading a fake flash player has attracted a great deal of attention. This attack included sending of e-mail messages that were variedly complex, ranging from having a simple subject as "CNN Top 10" to e-mail messages that imitated the real CNN news alerts.

In the same manner, the MSNBC spam used subjects like "msnbc.com - BREAKING NEWS" in which the news varied from Google introducing free Internet music downloads in China to reports about credit card details being stolen. While the e-mail headline was extremely simple, the e-mail itself presented a link that asks readers to follow for finding more.

The spam, which took the second place, was the Trojan posing as an advanced version of Microsoft's Internet Explorer 7. The text of the e-mail impersonated a legitimate Microsoft e-mail that is enticing the potential victim to download it from the Internet but installs a malware on his computer.

However, according to Secure Computing, although most anti-virus software programs are able to spot the malware, end-users need to be aware of the messages and not click on any given attachment. It also said that the e-mails were not from Microsoft; therefore, Microsoft could not be made liable for any harm caused to an end-user's system.

The third dominant spam was the fake Madonna video. These e-mails with subject titles as "Video Madonna XXX!!!" offered a disgraceful video claiming to come from Microsoft as a part of MSN subscription but actually contained a dangerous virus capable of infecting a computer.

Secure Computing further disclosed that it observed a 50% rise in the global spam amount during the starting days of August. This spike chiefly linked to the spam that presented breaking news. Also, assuming that the effectiveness of the virus in infecting users was nearly proportional to earlier outbreaks, the botnet's size should expand considerably.

Related article: Secure Computing Released Internet Threats for Q2 of 2008

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