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Image Spam Set to Hit Worldwide PCs Back

Image spam is slowly raising its head, said Symantec researchers. In image spam, a text is embedded in an image attached with an e-mail and this spam. Some of the most common image spam includes random products offerings, Russian online dating offers and Viagra offers.

Further, Symantec has found that spammers are increasingly using this method. They use images to escape the spam filters, which conventionally work by matching the keywords contained in an e-mail's text.

According to the researchers at Symantec, the period from May to September 2008 witnessed very few attacks. A sudden increase in such attacks was noticed since mid-September 2008 and it is the largest image spamming incident since February 2008.

The company also said that during August 2008, 1.6% of the total spam messages were found to be image spam. In September 2008, the figure mounted to 2.6% and in first ten days of October 2008, the image spam surged to 8.6%. The researchers informed that it is the highest level over last three months.

A similar case was disclosed by the security firm Sophos in May 2007, when the image spam was used by medication and drug peddlers.

Kelly Conley, Manager of anti-spam Research at Symantec, said that these attacks are not new but the alarming fact is the significant rise in the number of such attacks in recent times. This boom is indicating towards a probable comeback of the image spam, as reported by Webuser on October 17, 2008.

Further, as per another observation by Symantec, image spam is also related to the phishing attacks as various phishing attacks are making use of images. The company has recently found some phishing attacks on banks in which logo images were used.

However, according to Conley, so far, the image spam has not affected the anti-spam efficiency. Further, security experts are also saying that most of the spam filters can successfully put off image spam.

Related article: Image Spam Falls, Spam Attachments Rise

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