Spammers Adjust To Economic Times
Numbers. So much of the spam world is numbers.
- IP address… numbers
- Volume of spam email … numbers
- Money lost due to scams… numbers
Behind every number is a person: A spammer running a rogue email server or a person opening an email. And with this simple act of opening an email, they fall prey to ID theft, malware installation and possibly an emptier bank account.
Spam emails with monetary themes are reported to be on the upswing and why not. Falling stock values, job losses and bailouts are top-of-mind for just about everyone. Newspapers hammer this theme home. CNBC parades a steady stream of analysts all predicting or not predicting “The Bottom”. The talk among parents waiting to pick up our darling children at my kids school, often centers around who lost their jobs this week. Bailout this. Don’t bailout that. Top-of-mind.
So is it any surprise the spammers have moved from pushing offshore drug distributors to pushing economic solutions.
A five minute search of my own quarantine folder brought these “economic” related subjects to the forefront…
- Save Money on your Credit Card
- Attention: Union Trust Bank Customer
- Behind on House Payments? Load Modification
- Stay at Home Mom Makes How Much?
And guess what? In the same search period, not a single email for cheap offshore drugs or Viagra knock-offs, not a single email. A total and complete retargeting (or rebranding) of spammer resources.
And since my personal interest lies in international spam (thanks to my company’s XE-Filter
product designed specifically for international spam email), I want to bring up this little nugget from the “Emirates Business 24/7
” web site…
"Spam is also getting globalised as Brazil, Russia, India and China are among the biggest emerging broadband markets worldwide and as such offer a tremendous opportunity for cybercrime ".
Kind of hits right in the heart of my company's demographic. Do your company a favor… check XE-Filter out.
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Labels: cybercrime, foreign spam, spam email, spammer
Sincere apologies for being away so long...
Been a long time since I played with this little spam forum of mine so let me apologize to those who visit this little blog of mine. I know you are out there be cause I regularly get updates on web traffic and see y’all coming around.
So what jarred me into action and brought me back from my real work to this blog?
Well I was doing some Google Analysis on keywords and there, popping up several times in page one rankings were link to articles that I have written for the blog.
First thought... great… second thought … what was I doing not updating it.
So my second though won out, real work aside, I am now looking for a topical item to publish. Maybe something ironic? Maybe something downright idiotic? But I will publish.
So until then a side note from a Michigan State fan …
Sparty On .... GO GREEN GO WHITE …. Beat those NC guys in powder blue.
Labels: email, foreign spam, MSU, spam
Holiday Spam is not Aunt Honey’s Fruitcake
So the demise of ISPs McColo and Intercage has brought about a noticeable decrease in the amount of spam floating around the Internet but be wary… the upcoming Christmas season is prime time for scams and spams.
A quick check of my quarantine email folder has brought up several bogus messages with a holiday themes like “Get 10 Holiday Cards on Us” or “Gas Holiday Savings at BP Exxon” and surprise surprise, the associated email domains did not really exist.
Spammers are hoping to take advantage of distracted folks and the often hectic pace of the upcoming holidays.
A recent email scam has messages that appear to come from UPS carrying a message that your package is lost. In the hustle and bustle of the season with trees to decorate, relatives to visit, screaming kids home from school (oh wait… that’s my house), an overloaded person could really believe that Aunt Honey’s fruitcake was actually lost by UPS. A few distracted clicks later and your personal info is of into the land of cyber-crooks never to return.
So when your mailbox (or quarantine message folder) is full of cyber-messages of good cheer and special holiday offers keep a keen eye open to the actual sender of the message and be sure that you really have an interest in the product before you click.
It never ceases to amaze me that somehow after all these years of warning about email trickery stealing your personal information, your time and sometimes even hijacking your computer, spam is still profitable. A University of California study showed that even by getting just 1 response for every 12 million emails sent spammers still turn a profit.
Incidentally, Aunt Honey’s fruitcake will arrive on time… it always does.
Remember... XE-Filter makes the perfect gift for your email server this Christmas: Lighten it's load and improve its performance. And XE-Filter works great with existing outsourced hosted email and offsite filtering services.
Refer a Friend... Get an XE-Filter Discount
We at CMS know that XE-Filter
is an excellent product.
know that it is an excellent product and telling their friends and associates about XE-Filter is quite common.
So, we have decided to try to expand this viral, grass-root marketing of XE-Filter by offering these existing customer access to the XE-Filter Rewards Program
. Refer a friend or associate to XE-Filter and upon their purchase, receive discounts of 20% to 100% on support fees.
It's a good deal. So if you are an XE-Filter site already, tell a friend and take advantage of the new discounts.
If you are not an XE-Filter site, maybe you want to buy one for yourself and then.... refer a friend.
Denial of Service Flood - Update
Just an update on a previous blog...
Just about two weeks ago, one of our customers, a small trucking company, was under a severe "Denial of Service" spam attack
Averaging about 1 million bogus messages a day, their use of the CMS XE-Filter product saved their operations and bought them time to ride out the email storm.
Over the period of the attack, XE-Filter
refused 20 million spam email messages that tried to reach their server.
But now the onslaught appears to be just about over. And if it is just a lull in the storm, well they still have XE-Filter, their first line of protection.
So again, XE-Filter preformed admirably, but our customers
knew it would.
Denial of Service Flood ... Rejected
Normally I don’t venture into tech support. They are several buildings away from my desk and I spent enough time in tech support during my dark past, but an email I received from them today got my attention.
Apparently there is a small trucking and container company located on the West Coast whose domain was hijacked by spammers and is currently under a massive “Denial of Service" spam attack.
Since early March, this company, with 15 employee mailboxes, is averaging over 1 million incoming, bogus email messages per day.
Bad news? No, not really.
This company is an XE-Filter customer
and XE-Filter has worked flawlessly in protecting their email server from this DoS attack.
The CEO of CMS, Lih-Tah Wong, thinks that the attack on this company goes beyond just ordinary spam…
“The stats show that they are still getting pounded with the same crap they have been getting since early March. Since this flood has not subsided, someone is continuing to use their domain name in sending out spam. It seems malicious and intentional to me”.
So the good news is that XE-Filter’s Denial of Service protection
let these West Coast guys go about their normal business.
So while XE-Filter has started out as simply a “Country-of-Origin” filter, it has now become a major means of email protection for many, many companies.
Is Spam Declining?
An interesting question has been posed to CMS technicians over the past few weeks.... "Are spam volumes declining"?
The answer of course is "NO". So what is happening?
Apparently somes XE-Filter sites are reporting a reduction in their spam filtering rates
and spam volumes. So where is the spam going?
It took a little research but CMS technicians now believe that sophisticated spammers, monitoring their spamming success rates have noticed that certain IP addresses are not worth their time and resources. And so, they are de-listing these IP addresses.
CMS folks believe that XE-Filter, with many sites filtering over 95%
of all incoming mail before it ever reaches a mail server, is apparently both getting noticed and getting ignored by large spammers.
So the recipe is quite simple...
- Add XE-Filter, highly effective with four layers of email protection
- Prevent unwanted email from ever reaching your email servers
- Get the attention of large, sophisticated spammers
- Get ignored by large sophisticated spammers.
- Only get the email you want.
Spam-in' On Up to the Eastside
First, my apologies to George and Wheezy for paraphrasing their theme song as my title.
Now isn't this interesting. Apparently the “Russian Business Network” (RBN) has disappeared from St. Petersburg and is thought to be relocating
For those who are unfamiliar with RBN, let me fill you in… Just see the “Rock Phish
” item I published several weeks ago. This is representative of the clientele for the RBN, just your usual child porn, identity theft, spamming by the millions folks. Known to many but beyond the reach of authority (if an authority exists).
The current thinking is that this host to Russian cyber-crooks has found a sympathetic home within the vast Chinese internet (162 million Internet users, 1.31 million websites and 67 million online computers
So now, spammer hosts have the anonymity to relocate under an international curtain. If it's too hot in St. Petersburg (hard to believe in December),
move on to the next welcoming country.
So how do Russian officials view the folks over at RBN?
"A spokesman for the Russian Embassy at first denied any knowledge of the RBN, then suggested that it was based in England." (Read)
One researcher suggests that to some, “Robin Hood” is alive and well…
"Hackers are bad-arse freedom fighters who are putting it to fat westerners with too much money, and that's not seen as a bad thing." (Read)
And of course the Secretary General of Interpol, Ronald K. Noble, states the obvious…
"It is clear that organized cybercrime has taken root in countries that don't have response mechanisms, laws, infrastructure and investigative support set up to respond to the threat quickly." (Read)
Even Robert Mueller, FBI Director acknowledges that cyber-threats are international…
"Increasingly, cyber threats originate outside of our borders". (Read)
So what can a small business, community or school do to protect themselves and email from international spam threats? I know. Filter your email based on Country-Of-Origin.
Simple fix. Grand results.