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Attachment Spam Increases Manifold

As per the latest report of Marshal, the IT security firm, there has been a tremendous spike in the attachment spam as compared to that based on image. The emerging popularity of attachment spam is due to the fact that it is highly undetectable and can easily escape the eyes of junk mail filters.

The reports also shows an increment of 25% in the amount of spam mails containing attached text, PDF, zip folders, and Excel within the last week of July 2007. Earlier, this trend of attachment spam estimated to be only 2%. Corresponding to this increment, there is a gradual decline in the spam based on image.

Product management director of Marshal, Bradley Anstis, stated that the statistics clearly shows the inclination of spammers towards PDF spam than image-based spam. Further, the spammers are continuously trying new types of attachment to seek a more perfect one, as per the news by Itpro on August 2, 2007.

The research also shows that one of the spammer groups is behind the major part of the attachment spam. Security company Marshal is of the view that this is the same spammer group, which is behind Storm Worm.

Mark Sunner, MessageLabs' chief security analyst, said that no doubt PDF files are the most trusted type of attachment files, but gradually, it is connected with more malicious activities. He also said that with the increment of 10% in malware in July 2007, things have become worse because now, they can also embed malware in the PDFs, which can be automatically installed into the user's PC, as per the reports of Scmagazine on August 2, 2007.

The company highlighted that they mainly use Excel attachments to distribute spam mails. No doubt they are not harmful but still, there exist a chance. As per the researchers of the company, there exist several flaws for unpatched editions of the Excel, and it will be simpler for a corrupt Excel attachment to have an exploit and a delivering spam.

Mostly, all the spam mails containing Excel, text, ZIP, and PDF attachment studied by the company share common features such as message structure and content. The major share of it is made by Stock Spam, which attacks the same listed enterprises.

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