Spam on the Increase – Image Spam Accounting for More

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As always, spam filters get better and smarter, but so do spammers..and frankly spammers have more to gain by beating the spam filters so they always work harder and think in more innovative ways.

As they get their spam resembling real emails more and more, the spam filters become less accurate.

On top of that they start using images to get the spam message across so it’s even harder to filter.

Earlier this year we thought the good guys were winning the war against spam. Back in January, I talked to spam fighters who were claiming victory in the spam wars. One company told me that the volume of spam had stopped growing at double-digit rates for the first time.

But that may have changed. Researchers and IT managers are now complaining that spam levels have risen significantly in recent months — some organizations have reported increases as high as 80 percent. Overall spam volume has increased 67 percent since August 2006, according to Barracuda Networks, an enterprise security appliance vendor.

I have noticed a massive surge in spam recently, especially comment and trackback spam, that’s why I’ve had to install more aggressive antispam measures on this site as it was getting overwhelming.

The new breed of spam manages to evade filters because it contains no suspect words, is sent from hundreds of thousands of different PCs, and includes no links. How does it work?

The new spam evades traditional spam filters because it doesn’t include any text — instead, it uses an image embedded in the body of an e-mail to deliver its message. This image includes text that displays the spammer’s message. But to make it hard for spam filters that may use optical character recognition technology to scan and read the text in the images, spammers are getting sneakier. They’re sending pictures with textured backgrounds or various colors to throw off the filters. They’re also varying the font for each letter of the text.

This way a spam filter can’t tell an unsolicited stock tip from a holiday picture of the family.

People are doing some interesting stock manipulation scams involving spam and penny stocks, do read the rest of the article at Infoworld.

Source: Infoworld

Posted in: Phishing, Spammers & Scammers

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