Secure Systems for Spam Surge

Thursday, August 18, 2011 @ 03:08 PM gHale

Notice a rise in spam lately? At least three security labs would agree after they conducted some research into the matter.

M86 Security noted a huge surge of malicious spam it said far exceeds anything it has seen over the past two years. Its research found last week, malicious spam made up at least 13 percent of the total spam volume, which it said was unusual, however that figure spiked to 24 percent this week.

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Security vendor Commtouch also noted a 500 percent increase spike in the level of spam seen. It also noted most of the spam contained fake shipping confirmations that often told the recipient that they had an undelivered package and had to fill in an attached file.

M86 Security said the majority of the malicious spam comes from the Cutwail botnet, although Festi and Asprox are among the other contributors.

It also said the malware is within a compressed ZIP archive and is a Trojan that downloads additional malware including fake anti-virus, SpyEye and the Cutwail spambot itself.

CronLab was seeing a surge of email based malware that started two weeks ago with a sharp increase in instances last week, said Daniel Axsäter, chief executive at CronLab.

“Over half of the viruses we see are from zip-files, clearly trying to trick the end users to believing they are real. As so often before, much of the viruses come hidden as Shipping notifications, mainly from UPS but also pretending to be from DHL and FedEx,” he said.

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