There are reports of increased phishing attacks purporting to be messages from various banks. Be alert! The bad guys create email messages that appear to be from banks, with links to malicious web sites that attempt to install viruses or adware or fool you into entering account information. The messages and web sites are increasingly professional, to the point that they are indistinguishable from the real thing. […] continuedRead more
There is a massive spam attack underway masquerading as messages from CNN.com. The first set of messages had links to the “Top 10 Headlines” and “Top 10 Videos”; now there are new variations presenting a “custom news alert.” Clicking on any link in the messages will bring up a dialog that says an incorrect version of Flash Player has been detected that needs to be updated to a newer edition. […] continuedRead more
The latest outbreak of virus-laden spam purports to be a message from UPS about an undeliverable package. The attachment is a ZIP file with an executable program inside that does something evil – blows up a cruise boat or something.
These messages appear and morph and tomorrow this might be a message from FedEx or the IRS or anything else. […] continuedRead more
An interesting problem has developed, and there’s no good answer in sight. Email is no longer a reliable business tool. We’re going to keep using it but there will be more occasions when I have no good answer to mail-related complaints.
Spam is the primary reason that things are falling apart. […] continuedRead more
I’ve gotten several calls recently about an odd type of spam attack that also happened to me a few days ago.
As other clients had reported, I began getting “non-delivery reports” – messages from mail servers all over the world that messages from me had not been delivered. Typically the sender is “System Administrator” or the like. […] continuedRead more
Many of you practice safe computing – you install security updates from Microsoft and other vendors, you run antivirus and adware/spyware programs and keep them current, your email program has a spam filter and blocks .EXE and other potentially dangerous attachments, and you don’t click on strange links in email messages or on web sites. […] continuedRead more
The latest barrage of virus-laden spam e-mails announce that you’ve received “a postcard from a family member.” Here’s a security vendor confirming what you already knew – if you click on the links in the messages, you’ll be taken to web sites that will attack your computer with dozens of exploits, searching out computers that haven’t gotten all of their security updates. […] continuedRead more
There’s a massive spam blast in progress. ComputerWorld reports that the spam outbreak is setting records, 50 to 60 times the normal volume of spam, with subjects like Worm Alert!, Worm Detected, Spyware Detected!, and Virus Activity Detected!, and carrying ZIP file attachments containing the “Storm Trojan” virus.
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“Postini has already counted nearly 5 million copies of the spam in the last 24 hours, and calculated that the run currently accounts for 87% of all malware being spread through e-mail.
Remember Earthlink? It’s still in business but not particularly relevant. (Companies providing dialup access became an anachronism when the telcos and cable companies shut them out of broadband access. Earthlink all but disappeared, and AOL is following it down the same path – AOL is just taking longer to go away.) […] continuedRead more
You’ve probably noticed it, and here’s a New York Times article to confirm it: after a respite for a year or two, the volume of spam has risen sharply in the last few months; worldwide spam volumes have doubled since last year and it currently accounts for more than 9 out of every 10 e-mail messages delivered worldwide. […] continuedRead more
AOL & Yahoo are going to allow spam to reach mailboxes if the senders pay a fee for each message. Here’s an article about the new system.
It’s hard to predict the result, but my gut feeling is that it’s a disaster for consumers. AOL & Yahoo will pitch it as a “service” to distinguish legitimate offers from true junk and phishing scams. […] continuedRead more
Outlook 2003 does a remarkable job of filtering spam. (Make sure you get the latest updates from Office Update.)
It’s no surprise that the spammers are trying to get messages through the antispam filters with new techniques to conceal the true nature of their messages. Lately it’s been a flood of pharmaceutical products with odd spellings and spaces and punctuation marks, typically with unrelated words on the bottom to make the message appear meaningful to an automated filter. […] continuedRead more
Yahoo Mail surveyed 3100 people in May about spam. One-fifth of the US residents said they have bought products from spammers. Twenty percent! It’s enormously difficult to draw the line between “spam” (a despised scourge) and “advertising” (a legitimate attempt to market a product, even if unsolicited). How can you legislate against the “Vi ag3 ra” ads that are slipping through the spam filters, if people are buying products in response to the messages? […] continuedRead more
E-mail security firm MessageLabs reported this week that spam accounted for 76% of all e-mail traffic worldwide recently, and the level is rising. Filters are struggling to keep up. One knowledgeable columnist installed a server-based filter but discovered that its effectiveness seemed to drop after a few months. You may have had the same thing happen if you’ve tried a spam filtering program. […] continuedRead more