Items tagged with spam

A potential trial between Royal Mail, the postal service company in the United Kingdom, and what's being described as a "big retailer" underscores why it's important to take online privacy seriously. Should the two sides move forward with the trial, online users living in the U.K. will receive market materials via snail mail based on their online shopping habits. Let's say a shopper named Joe visits this so-called big retailer and adds an item to his virtual shopping cart. If Joe doesn't complete the transaction for any reason, he would receive a physical letter or product pamphlet in the mail... Read more...
Researchers from security outfit ESET discovered that several thousand servers running Linux and BSD have unwittingly been sending out spam as a result of a previously undiscovered malware infection. This has been going on for more than 5 years, as the malware was able to stay hidden all this time due to its sophistication and because the spammers haven't been constantly infecting new machines. "We were able to identify victimized system and began the process of notifying its owners," said Lead ESET security researcher Marc-Etienne M. Léveillé. "This is not trivial, as we identified over 8500 unique... Read more...
These days, you can’t seem to escape reports of major corporations being “taken down” by phishing schemes (“Hello, Sony”) or ordinary spam. Valve doesn’t want its hugely popular Steam digital distribution service (or its users) to fall victim to such attacks, so it’s taking a rather unusual step to help weed out accounts that could possibly be used for nefarious purposes. Valve has adopted a new policy that requires users to spend at least $5 before they are able to access a wealth of features that Steam users normally take for granted. Thankfully the threshold is rather low and it is pretty easy... Read more...
How does one even begin a post with the above headline? In what is either a massive troll or an uncomfortable sign of the times, a pair of Brits named Matt Gray and Tom Scott are touting a new social network launching soon that will use only emoji. Dubbed “emoj.li”, the social network contains no words--no words!--but also no spam, which is its main selling point. “Social networks are broken,” says the product video, “with spam, trolls, memes, and hashtags.” Further, “There is no spam, because there isn’t an emoji for spam.” If you’re... Read more...
Chances are, you’ve noticed a gradual uptick in the amount of spam in your Facebook Newsfeed. You know the stuff--"like-baiting", spammy links to trick you into clicking on a junk website, and even seeing the content over and over again--and Facebook is trying to get rid of it. “A smaller set of publishers who are frequently and intentionally creating feed spam will see their distribution decrease over the next few months,” wrote Facebook’s Erich Owens and Chris Turitzin in a blog post. “We’re making these changes to ensure that feed spam content does not drown... Read more...
We’ve said it before, but it bears repeating as we enter the era of the Internet of Things (IoT): Anything that’s Internet-connected can be hacked. We’ve seen it recently with TRENDnet IP cameras and warned about it with Nest (even as Google snapped it up in a $3.2 billion acquisition this week). And now, a security company says that a global attack campaign has been launched from household smart appliances. Proofpoint says that some 100,000 connected routers, multimedia centers, smart TVs, and “at least one refrigerator” sent out 750,000 malicious emails. The attacks... Read more...
You know malware is a steadily growing problem, but if you aren’t tuned into the cyber security industry, you might not know just how fast the threat is exploding. Hackers are taking computers hostage, stealing credit card data at ever-increasing rates, and spammers are winning the email war. McAfee released a new report that documents trending malware problems and shines a light on Deep Web, the underbelly of the Internet. The browser remains a top entry point for cyber attackers. Image credit: McAfee It’s been a banner year for malware. Rootkits are a major problem, as are the autorun... Read more...
When it comes to the web business, you might say you know you've "arrived" when the spammers show up.  Instagram, the blazingly hot photo and video-sharing service owned by Facebook and now topping 130 million monthly active users, definitely seems to have crossed that threshold.  You might say Instagram is where all the cool kids are going after Facebook actually.  Well, it seems that spammers have taken a liking to Instragram's popularity as well and have showed up in droves to attack the burgeoning community. If you've recently seen a rash of fruity looking pictures hitting your... Read more...
Nothing quite like a good, old-fashioned cat-fight between social networks, huh? That's evidently what's ongoing between Facebook and Path. If you haven't been watching, Path has been taking a lot of heat recently for spamming contact lists with invites to join. Essentially, Path users inadvertently spammed just about everyone in their address book in recent weeks, and Facebook took notice. Now, Facebook has blocked Path's access to FB's social graph, which will disallow Path's "Find Friends" feature from working with FB data. Of course, Path users can still login via Facebook and share content... Read more...
Facebook has been testing a pay-to-message service in the U.S. since December, and now the trial has expanded to include some 36 countries, including the UK. According to the Guardian, about 10% of UK Facebook users can now message their favorite celebrities--for a price. The cost is on a tiered scale depending on the popularity of the celebrity in question--about $1, $5, or $15 USD. (How exactly Facebook determines a celebrity’s relative popularity is a little unclear--it apparently has to do with a person’s number of Facebook followers and number of weekly messages--but we get a chuckle... Read more...
Talk about spring cleaning. According to techcrunch, citing “a company in the mobile app industry which has insight into changes like this”, some 60,000 apps were removed from the Google Play store in February. That’s a startling number, considering that the total number of apps in the Google Play store is around 700,000. Frankly, it’s about time. Say what you will about Apple and its Steve Jobs-esque control-freakishness with the App Store, but the number of crappy apps (or simply, “crapps”) that gets through the army of Apple’s app reviewers is negligible... Read more...
If you've had a difficult time connecting to select websites over the past few days, there's a very good chance that an on-going attack against spam-prevention agency Spamhaus is to blame. Spamhaus, based in London and Geneva, helps e-mail providers filter spam, and to do this, it manages a blocklist that includes any server verified to be used for the sole purpose of distributing unwanted content. You can see where this is going. Cyberbunker, a host that touts its willingness to host anything outside of child pornography and terrorism materials, recently found itself on Spamhaus' blocklist. It... Read more...
It's Christmas. Actually, it's the day before the fake Mayan apocalypse, Winter Solstice Eve, two days before Festivus, and five days before Christmas. Regardless of your chosen holiday, it's the magical time of year when the kinfolk you've spent 51 weeks successfully avoiding manage to squirm their way into your home like particularly determined tapeworms. Having attached themselves to the intestines of your dogged Christmas cheer, they'll regale you with stories of their vacations, promotions, life accomplishments. If they have children, you'll be treated to lengthy treatises on how Spawn Jr... Read more...
Love 'em or hate 'em, CAPTCHAs remain one of the most valuable tools for website owners to help keep comment spam to a minimum. While figuring out exactly what a CAPTCHA is trying to tell you can be frustrating as a user, the alternative is to peruse a comments section littered with spam, scams and other garbage. That's not to say that the CAPTCHA idea is perfect, however, because it certainly isn't. Simple CAPTCHA's can be easily broken through by bots, and if you tweak the settings too much, it suddenly becomes a real chore to those legit users who have to use them. But if you can easily understand... Read more...
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