Category Archives: Spam

ITU, Internet Society sign deal to fight spam

The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and the Internet Society have signed an agreement to jointly battle spam, which still accounts for 80 percent of e-mail traffic worldwide.The collaboration will see both organizations identify ways to build “long-term capacity” for resolving the spam problem in developing countries, including joint cooperative activities to provide the increasing need for information on how to do so.
http://www.zdnet.com/itu-internet-society-sign-deal-to-fight-spam-7000035503/Also see:ITU and Internet Society collaborate to combat spam – Spam accounts for 80 per cent of global e-mail traffic
ITU and the Internet Society today signed a letter of agreement to collaborate on combating the global problem of spam. Spam now accounts for a significant amount of all global e-mail traffic and presents particular difficulties in areas where bandwidth is insufficient to handle the congestion that spam creates.”Combating the growing menace of spam and the protection of data is a global concern for legitimate Internet and smartphone users,” said ITU Secretary-General Dr Hamadoun I. Touré. “We need to find global solutions to curtail the flow of intrusive junk mail which not only clogs up the Internet but also carries huge cost implications.”Under the new agreement, the Internet Society and the ITU Telecommunication Development Sector (ITU-D) will identify the best ways to build long-term capacity for addressing spam in developing countries. This collaborative partnership will explore and identify potential joint cooperative activities to address the growing need for information on how to address the issue of spam.”We look forward to working with ITU-D as partners in capacity building programmes that will bridge the gaps in understanding so that all countries can have access to the tools and knowledge they need to combat spam,” stated Kathy Brown, President and CEO of the Internet Society. “The costs associated with spam related to wasted bandwidth, storage and network infrastructure, as well as the increased security risks are amplified in developing regions. By collaborating with ITU-D, we hope to make a real and positive impact on the world’s most vulnerable economies.”The agreement will extend the work that the Internet Society initiated last year to hold workshops that address the various roles in developing and maintaining an effective anti-spam process, as well as leverage the strengths and efforts of ITU-D in the area of building capacity. Without such proactive global work, the problem of spam, particularly given the growing use of mobile devices and social media, will intensify rather than abate.The organizations have agreed to preliminarily focus their efforts on three areas:
Facilitating greater regional access to technical experts from the global Internet community who can share anti-spam knowledge and experiences on an ongoing basis
Providing educational training and information on effective anti-spam policies, technical solutions and operational requirements
Documenting anti-spam best practices”Spam is a worldwide obstacle that requires innovative solutions to minimize the burden for countries, network operators, and end users,” notes Brahima Sanou, Director of ITU’s Telecommunication Development Bureau. “While the telecommunication industry and Internet communities have made great strides in creating best practices and developing technical tools to combat spam, there is a need to build awareness in developing countries of the ongoing technical, industry and policy developments in this regard, and to centralize the knowledge and expertise available. This partnership aims to fill that need.”
http://www.itu.int/net/pressoffice/press_releases/2014/61.aspx
http://www.internetsociety.org/news/itu-and-internet-society-collaborate-combat-spam

Canadian Antispam Law Whips Up a Storm of Last-Minute Messages

The email has all the markings of malicious spam: an overwrought subject line screaming “Urgent Action Required,” a message directing the recipient to click a mysterious link.But this isn’t a mortgage rip-off, weight-loss scam or sexual enhancement offer. This is the antispam email.In recent weeks, Canadians have been inundated with emails from retailers, manufacturers, nonprofits, even government agencies — all rushing to verify that people actually want their accounts flooded with deals, discounts, announcements or anything with a whiff of commerciality, useful or otherwise.
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/02/technology/canadian-spam-law-whips-up-a-storm-of-emails.html

Vigilance is the only cure for comment spam

One of the best ways to demonstrate expertise and establish a positive reputation for your business or your employer is by sharing information through posts on a website. And one of the best ways to engage customers is to allow comments on those posts and to respond to them. If you’re not careful, though, spammers will derail your comments and possibly drive potential customers away.A new report from Imperva reveals that 80 percent of the comment spam originates from less than one-third of the spammers, and a mere 17 percent of comment spammers actually account for a majority of the comment spam traffic. Imperva also found that nearly 60 percent of comment spammers are active for long periods of time.
http://www.pcworld.com/article/2362404/don-t-let-spammers-take-over-the-comments-on-your-site.html

Spam Hits Three Year High-Water Mark

Takedowns of prolific spam botnets, such as Rustock in 2011 and Grum in 2012, had a substantial effect on reducing overall global spam volumes. This, combined with diminishing returns for spammers sending via bots, had left many email recipients basking in the comfort of (mostly) clean inboxes. No doubt this downward trend in global spam volumes also saved countless dollars that would have otherwise been frittered away on phony university degrees, suspect weight loss products, and erectile dysfunction medication.Unfortunately, however, the good times seem to be coming to an end. Spam volumes have increased to the point that spam is now at its highest level since late 2010. Below is the graph of global spam volume as reported by Cisco SenderBase. From June 2013 to January 2014, spam was averaging between 50-100 billion messages per month, but as of March 2014 volumes were peaking above 200 billion messages per month–more than a 2X increase above normal.
http://blogs.cisco.com/security/spam-hits-three-year-high-water-mark/

Which countries are the world’s spammiest nations?

US continues to top the list of the ten most spam spreading countries, with Spain breaking into the league for the first time this quarter and taking the second position in the chart.For the quarter ending in March, US had the most spam, being responsible for 16.4% of the total spam sent across the world, according to a report from security firm Sophos.http://www.cbronline.com/news/security/is-your-country-among-top-spam-spreading-nations-220414-4217899Also see:The 12 Spammiest Countries on Earth [The Atlantic]
Americans like to associate their spam with other countries. They joke about Chinese spammers, or Nigerians or Russians. It’s a time-honored nativist tradition.But, according to the new quarterly report from the security and spam monitoring company Sophos, computers inside the United States relay — by far — the most spam. And we have in every quarter of the past year.
https://www.yahoo.com/tech/the-12-spammiest-countries-on-earth-83533268752.html

You’ve got spam mail: Slew of AOL email accounts fall prey to spoofing attack

The undead are rising from their graves — or at least a legion of long-forgotten AOL email addresses are.Folks have been complaining about a flood of spam email flowing out from a sea of AOL email addresses over the past several days, with tales of angst being chronicled under the #aolhacked hashtag on Twitter. People are not pleased, to put it mildly.
http://www.pcworld.com/article/2146402/you-got-spam-mail-slew-of-aol-email-accounts-fall-prey-to-spoofing-attack.htmlAlso see:AOL Email Hacked by Spoofers to Send Spam
In Internet years, AOL and its webmail counterpart AOL Mail are beyond ancient at this point. A relic of electronic mail history, the majority of users have long since jumped ship for Gmail or Yahoo.Yet those who still have accounts with AOL were no doubt unhappy when they discovered last weekend that a slew of old AOL Mail accounts had been hacked to send spam to their friends.
http://threatpost.com/aol-email-hacked-by-spoofers-to-send-spam/105629

The decade-long quest to stop "Spamford" Wallace

On a warm April morning in 2007, one of the world’s most notorious spammers walked through the doors of the Lloyd D. George Federal Courthouse in Las Vegas. Though the Federal Trade Commission was attempting to collect a $4 million judgment against him, Sanford “Spamford” Wallace showed up to his sworn deposition without a lawyer — and without any of the documents required of him.

Intelligence chief: Le Monde’s allegations against NSA ‘false’

The Director of National Intelligence has rebutted claims from a French newspaper that the NSA gathered more than 70 million recordings of phone calls from French citizens.In a statement published on Wednesday, James Clapper, who oversees 17 different agencies, including the NSA, lashed out at Le Monde over a story published on Monday. Based on documents leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, Le Monde reported that the NSA made 70.3 million recordings of phone calls in France from December 2012 to January 2013.
http://news.cnet.com/8301-1009_3-57608909-83/intelligence-chief-le-mondes-allegations-against-nsa-false/

The NSA Is Being Overwhelmed By Spam

In the latest article based on the Edward Snowden documents, the Washington Post’s Barton Gellman and Ashkan Soltani report that the NSA is “harvesting hundreds of millions of contact lists from personal e-mail and instant messaging accounts around the world, many of them belonging to Americans… in large numbers that amount to a sizable fraction of the world’s e-mail and instant messaging accounts.” These amount to hundreds of thousands of email address books and chat contact lists per day.NSA Director Keith Alexander has defended the practice of bulk data collection in the past, saying, “You need the haystack to find the needle.” But this latest program may revive the question of whether, privacy issues aside, the NSA is pouring way too much hay on the stack.
www.slate.com/blogs/the_world_/2013/10/15/new_snowden_documents_the_nsa_is_collecting_millions_of_address_books_and.htmlAlso see:The NSA’s giant Utah data center will probably hold a bunch of spam
The NSA’s data-collection activities are so resource-intensive, the agency can’t complete its new server farms fast enough. But when it does, a significant share of what gets held on those servers could wind up being worthless spam.We now know the NSA collects hundreds of thousands of address books and contact lists from e-mail services and instant messaging clients per day. Thanks to this information, the NSA is capable of building a map of a target’s online relationships.
www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-switch/wp/2013/10/15/the-nsas-giant-utah-data-center-will-probably-hold-a-bunch-of-spam/

Brazil to fortify government email due to NSA revelations

[IDG] The Brazilian Federal Data Processing Service, known as Serpro, will build a secure email system for Brazil’s federal government following media reports that foreign intelligence agencies intercepted electronic communications in the country.Via several Twitter posts on Sunday, Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff said that creating a secure email system for the federal government is the first step to increase the privacy and inviolability of official messages. Messages require increased security to prevent possible espionage, she said.
www.computerworld.com/s/article/9243200/Brazil_to_fortify_government_email_due_to_NSA_revelations
http://www.networkworld.com/news/2013/101413-brazil-to-fortify-government-email-274802.html