Items tagged with spam

The FCC has issued a mandate that all phone companies must support, which will help to fight spoofed robocalls. The FCC adopted new rules on March 31, 2020 that require the implementation of caller ID authentication using technical standards known as STIR/SHAKEN. The FCC says the new rules will further its efforts to protect consumers against malicious caller ID spoofing. Caller ID spoofing is a method used by robocall scam campaigns to trick users into answering their phones. STIR/SHAKEN allows the phone company to verify that caller ID information transmitted with the call matches the caller phone number. According to the FCC, widespread deployment of this new protocol will reduce the effectiveness... Read more...
Many computer users know that Microsoft doesn't email you about Windows updates, but many people unfortunately still fall for spam tricks. There is a new malicious spam campaign going around that tells users to download a critical Windows update. If users install the attached file, Cyborg ransomware is then loaded on the system. The threat was discovered by researchers at Trustwave, and is said to be unique in a few ways. The attached file claims to be a .jpg format, but it opens as an .exe file. Another of the email's unique aspects is that it has a two-sentence subject that states, "Install Latest Microsoft Windows Update now! Critical Microsoft Windows Update!" The body of the email has only... Read more...
When it comes to online life, where there is a will, spammers will find a way, unfortunately. Even more unfortunate, unwanted messages are not always contained within email. More recently, they have been spilling out into Google Calendar, and depending on bad the situation is, you may find that your calendar is filled with bogus events. Can something be done about this? Fortunately, the answer is a resounding "Yes!" Obviously, the first place to start is your email—marking junk mail as spam and implementing more aggressive controls are the first steps, because you are attacking the problem at the source. This is not always enough, though. Here's the thing—Google Calendar has a feature... Read more...
It doesn't matter what smartphone you prefer or what carrier you use; all smartphone users have to deal with robocalls and spam on their devices. Verizon wants to make it easier for its customers to end spam and robocalls and will be providing its third-party spam and robocalling protection for free starting in March. Verizon says that over a year ago it added call and spam screening at no additional cost for wireless users who subscribed to the Call Filter service, which was previously called Caller Name ID. That service was able to identify spam callers and unknown numbers by name and show a risk meter giving a visual indicator of the level of spam risk associated with a call. All calls that... Read more...
There's no shortage of places to run into spam. It seems like nowadays, all you need to do is open a new email account, and there will already be spam in there waiting for you. Alright, that may be a slight exaggeration, but the problem was bad a decade or even twenty years ago, and it hasn't slowed down. Many companies push out spam protection for this very reason, but its effectiveness is largely hit-or-miss. Google is likely one of the top guardians against spam out there, but even Gmail is prone to filtering out legitimate messages (which is why you should make it a habit to check your spam folder periodically). The lowly SMS chat isn't even safe. It's actually almost too easy to send an... Read more...
We have all seen it on Facebook -- one of your friends “shares” a link to a new shake that will help you lose ten pounds in two days or a code to get suspiciously discounted Ray-Bans. Thankfully, most of these posts are obviously spam. Unfortunately, hackers are finding more ways to post annoying and potentially dangerous content. One researcher recently discovered a proof-of-concept Facebook worm that posts unwanted spam links. A Polish security researcher, who goes by the pseudonym “Lasq”, was the first to find the issue. He noted that a number of his Facebook friends appeared to be posting a link to French comic site hosted on a Amazon Web Services (AWS) bucket. Users... Read more...
Multiple Gmail users awoke Sunday morning to find that a bunch of spam that appeared to be sent from their accounts. The spam messages from their accounts were found in the sent items folder, but these weren’t emails that the users had sent themselves leaving many to think their accounts had been hacked. One user who found sent spam in his account wrote on the Google help forums, "My email account has sent out 3 spam emails in the past hour to a list of about 10 addresses that I don’t recongnize[sic]. I changed my password immediately after the first one, but then it happened again 2 more times. The subject of the emails is weight loss and growth supplements for men advertisements.... Read more...
You can never be too cautious when it comes to security, and for that reason turning on two-factor authentication (when available) is typically a good thing. Unfortunately, Facebook has decided to abuse the feature by spamming users who enable the added security measure with notifications of what's happening in the world of social media. That is not the intent of two-factor authentication, and quite frankly, it's complete bull spit that Facebook is doing this. The issue was brought to attention by Gabriel Lewis, a software engineer "with a passion for technology, design, and entrepreneurship." In a Twitter post, Lewis explains that he signed up for two-factor authentication, after which he began... Read more...
Several years ago, spammers figured out they could fill up a user's Google Calendar with advertisements and other unwanted messages by sending them out as event invites. The issue has largely flown under the radar, but unfortunately for some Google Home owners, the exploit (if you want to call it that) is preventing them from receiving legitimate notifications over their smart speaker, turning what was a nuisance into a major problem. We were alerted about the issue from Micah Stroud, a former NVIDIA employee who sent us an email detailing his frustration with the situation. "For the past three months I've been living with an out of control spammer in my house: it comes from Google Home. According... Read more...
TrendMicro has published a report that claims that a "sizable" spam campaign is underway and other than just having a bunch of unwanted email to contend with, the spam campaign is also pushing ransomware. The spam campaign is said to be distributing the latest variant of Locky, which is the ransomware that invaded LinkedIn back in November of last year via bogus leads.  The security firm says that it has looked at samples of these recent spam campaigns and has found that criminals are using some sophisticated distribution methods to affect users in over 70 countries. Along with Locky, the spammers are also distributing another ransomware program called FakeGlobe and that... Read more...
Twitch is a wonderful thing. It's the world's leading live video platform for gamers where more than 100 million people go to every month to broadcast, watch, and chat about gaming. But with its popularity there's also potential for abuse, which has come in the form of various bots. More than just an annoyance, Twitch views them as a "very real problem that has damaging effects across our entire community," so it's now starting to take legal action against their creators. Why use bots on Twitch? There are several reasons a gamer might look to one of the several available bots that are out there. "For those unaware, these bots are used to artificially inflate the apparent view count, follower... Read more...
Some amount of justice has been doled out to Sanford Wallace, better known as the "Spam King," who will serve 30 months behind bars for sending millions of spam messages to Facebook users and essentially thumbing his nose at a court order to stay away from the social networking site. He was also assessed a fine of $310,628.55, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of California announced. As part of the plea agreement, Wallace fessed up to sending more than 27 million spam messages to legitimate Facebook accounts from November 2008 through March 2009. In the process, he admitted to compromising half a million Facebook accounts by redirecting them to other websites, which he was... Read more...
As vast and widespread as the Internet is, the old adage "it's a small world" still seems to apply. It has had been widely reported that IP addresses are fast becoming a precious commodity, with IPV4 addresses completely allocated now and the future of Internet address identification and location reliant on IPV6 for continued expansion. Interestingly enough, the Internet’s growing pains pose an increasing challenge for spammers and cybercriminals looking to gain access to new IP addresses to operate, as existing and old addresses are terminated for spamming and other malicious practices. As a result, spammers and cybercriminals are now resorting to stealing large blocks of IP addresses that aren’t... Read more...
Gmail reduced spam from a major headache to an occasional annoyance, but Google is going after the remaining 0.1 percent of garbage that makes it to your inbox. The company rolled out new tools this week that are meant to shut down the most pernicious spam strategies and help important emails avoid getting inadvertently trapped in the spam filter. Google product manager Sri Harsha Somanchi describes the spam that makes it past the company’s filter as “Sneaky spam – the kind that could actually pass for wanted mail.” To nail it, Google is now employing an artificial neural network, which is machine-learning technology Google has had under development for years. Gmail should also be better at determining... Read more...
Sweet justice like this doesn't come along often enough. We've no doubt all dealt with the annoyance of phone spam -- either from companies that want to up-sell their service, bring us back, or hound for overdue bills which could have already been handled. In our busy lives, getting hassled by aggressive companies is something most of us could do without. Flickr: Michael Dougherty But, there's a big difference between receiving the odd call once in a while to receiving it all the time, such as what Araceli King had to deal with. In less than a year, Time Warner Cable called her a total of 153 times, all automated, and all meant for someone else. Making matters worse, King had a 7-minute... Read more...
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 encouraging him to buy the item he was looking at. Call me crazy, but I can't see this going over very... 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 IP addresses during 7 month research period! Now that the technical details about the threat are... 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 to surpass if you’re a heavy Steam user. In fact, if you’re a Steam user that hasn’t already spent... 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 smelling a rat, you’re not alone, but Gray and Scott specifically state that this isn’t... 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 out the content that people really want to see on Facebook from the friends and Pages they care about.”... 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 occurred between December 23rd, 2013 and January 6, 2014, with thrice-daily bursts of 100,000 spam... 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 viruses that sit on USB drives, waiting for someone to plug the drive into a new PC. As McAfee... Read more...
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