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Spammers Rely on Hijacked Accounts Rather Than Botnets

According to Commtouch, which recently published its Internet Threats Trend Report for April-June 2011 quarterly report, today's spammers are gradually shifting their spam-dissemination operation through botnets to dissemination through compromised accounts. Incidentally, the report, which covers malicious software, spam, phishing and other Web-based threats, outlines that spammers' strategy alteration was the result of the drastic fall in spam volumes following the major botnet, Rustock's shutdown.

Moreover, during Q2-2011, the mean rate of spam volumes was 113bn e-mails daily, the lowest over the past 3-yrs, says the security company.

Remarking about the aforementioned fascinating strategy alteration, Director of Product Marketing Avi Turiel at Commtouch stated that his organization had experienced that whenever there was the takedown of a botnet, there occurred a drop in the spam volumes following which the spam levels repeated a spike within some weeks. However, during Q2-2011, the company witnessed spam volumes to remain at the same reduced volumes that the messages had declined to, he noted. Infosecurity-us.com published this on July 12, 2011.

Turiel added that Commtouch had observed spammers using compromised accounts plentifully during when they seized user credentials with which they accessed the related accounts and subsequently dispatched junk.

He further added that if spam was dispatched from a hacked Yahoo e-mail, it wasn't possible to dispatch bulk messages as Yahoo never allowed that in its system; consequently, although the volume of spam seen was low, it nevertheless occurred.

Meanwhile, Commtouch as well reports that pharmacy ad was the most-abused subject for spam during Q2-2011, which, however, currently accounted for just 24% of the entire e-mail junk, dropping from 28% during Q1-2011.

Finally, the report talks about the latest security aspect of the Web. According to it, there was a continued exploitation of Facebook as members increasingly expanded their surfing activity on the social-networking site. Reportedly, the Facebook attacks deceived end-users via promises of Osama bin-Laden assassination movies, and software, which would apparently disclose the identity of the person/persons who were seeing one's profile. Moreover, other techniques through which malware was spread in Q2-2011 were fake IRS e-mails claiming payments rejection, bogus notices of iPhone 5, etc.

Related article: Spammers Continue their Campaigns Successfully

» SPAMfighter News - 7/21/2011

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