Spam Traffic Grows in Quarter 1 of 2013 As Spammers Resort To Old Tricks To Target Users

Every news item that you read about spammers, spam attacks, the future of spam, etc. tells you one thing over and above all else – that the threat of spam attacks is only increasing and will continue to do so.

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The new report by Kaspersky Lab on spam/spammers has something to say along similar lines. As per the report, unsolicited correspondence in email traffic grew slightly (+0.53% points) to reach an average of 66.55% in the first quarter of 2013. The increase in emails with malicious attachments was also less, growing by only 3.3%.

The thing of note here is that though spammers have now resorted to practises that had fallen out of use, primarily the practise of background noise that is often referred to as ‘white text’. In this type of spam, random pieces of text are added to the email. These insertions have the font in light gray and the background is a darker shade of gray. This spam ad is separated from the main ad in the email with a lot of line breaks. These spam ads/emails are considered by content-based spam filters as newsletters which results in them passing through the spam-filter test. Additionally, these are even harder to detect as they involve the use of random news fragments.

To top it all, the report says, the spammers are using links masked by two legal methods at once. First, they use the Yahoo URL shortening service and follow that up by linking it through Google Translate. The use of two trusted tech services gives these spam links a cover of authenticity.

While India has climbed down to the third spot on the Sophos Labs’ Spammiest Nation Chart, we clearly cannot let our guard down. So, the next time you think you’ve gotten a newsletter, you ought to think again.

Read the full Kaspersky Spam report here

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