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Pump-and-dump E-mail Scam Reappears Through ‘Donbot’

According to MessageLabs, the gigantic "Donbot" network of botnets, which launched attacks against Facebook and Twitter during November 2009, is now focusing on running "pump-and-dump" spam scams.

Security researchers have linked Donbot to an enormous volume of stock-related junk e-mails. These pump-and-dump spam messages have a simple objective. They try to attract the potential investors and convince them to purchase shares of low trading firms, a process that helps to raise the price of stocks. Subsequently, the perpetrators, who have already bought the stocks, sell them off as the prices are higher and reap huge profits.

The case of pump-and-stock scam involves a well-written e-mail without any attachment or link; and one that solicits no direct action too. The e-mail, which is simply distributed randomly in large numbers, looks to gain the maximum number of people's interest.

Paul Wood, Senior Analyst at MessageLabs, states that Donbot and similar kinds of massive botnets are perfect at executing stock spam campaigns. He added that since the campaign requires sending huge numbers of e-mails simultaneously, its technique is most appropriate for botnets, as reported by V3 on December 18, 2009.

Furthermore, MessageLabs' researchers state that since pump-and-dump scams were very frequent at one time, but have faded away in recent years; the latest spam scam can be regarded as a unique one. The disappearance of pump and dump scam is largely because of arrest and conviction of Alan Ralsky (the Spam King), as reported by V3 on December 18, 2009.

During the current year (2009), stock spam has been very little; however, when Donbot increased its operation on the 14th of December 2009, its stock spam spiked more than 4.5% of the total spam on that day, counting to some 5 Billion e-mails worldwide, in merely a single day.

With changes occurring in the cyber-crime world, the pump-and-dump scams could soon make a comeback. According to predictions from security specialists, a growing instance of packed and cut throat market could compel miscreants to search new methods for making revenue via the Internet.

Related article: Pump-and-Dump Reached the Lowest Rate at 5.1%

» SPAMfighter News - 12/28/2009

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