Spam increase

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by Alvaro Martín Gómez A., Nov 25, 2005.

  1. Alvaro Martín Gómez A.

    Alvaro Martín Gómez A. TalkBass' resident Bongo + cowbell player

    Hi everybody.

    Recently, I've noticed a big increase in the amount of messages received in my Hotmail's bulk mail folder, and most of them include an invitation to open a file (virus, of course). Some messages supposedly come from my university's domain, others inform me of "returned mails"... Am I the only one who's suffering this? Is there a new virus around spreading? Thanks for your input.
  2. westland

    westland Supporting Member

    Most of these are sent by botnets of 'zombie' pcs ... these networks are around 10,000 to 20,000 pcs around the world, and they are for rent, as I understand. The asking price for temporary use of an army of 20,000 zombie PCs today is around $2000 to $3000, according to a June posting on, an electronic forum for hackers

    One use in firms (particularly small ones that can't afford lawyers) is directed denial of service extortion (DOoS). Using their armies of zombie PCs, online extortionists threaten to crash a company's Web site unless they are paid off, and usually ask in the range of $20,000 to $30,000 from companies (the cost of countering an attack may be in the millions).

    Another use is planting of malware (generic name for viruses, trojans ...). Malware turned an average of 172,009 previously healthy computers into zombies every day during May 2005 according to CipherTrust, an e-mail security company that tracks botnets. As processing power improves and broadband Internet connections become more widespread, zombie computers are able to send more spam or hit Web sites harder
    and botnets have become more powerful. Also, the ability to shuffle funds including ransom payments anonymously through convoluted Internet paths using human mules (in much the same way as in the drug trade) and online payment services means that criminals can revisit old approaches.

    I'm up on this, because I just prepped a class on this (I teach IS Auditing). Microsoft had spam under control for most of last year, but a lot of the new stuff is more dangerous, being created by professional gangs of theives.

    Watch out and be safe.
  3. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    I have 2 new googlemail accounts, not a single spam email so far, for more than two months.
  4. my hotmail going on about 4 years now... nothing.

    The odd time I get something but it is usually once and then nothing again for months
  5. Alvaro Martín Gómez A.

    Alvaro Martín Gómez A. TalkBass' resident Bongo + cowbell player

    Gmail is the best, definitely. BTW, do you know this Gmail rip-off?
  6. secretdonkey


    Oct 9, 2002
    Austin, TX
    I've long used my primary email address as an alias to whatever email account is most convenient for me. I'd been using an account at and loved it. They shut the site down, however, I guess strict challenge/response filters have a limited appeal. Now my mail is directed to a Gmail account. I do really like the Gmail interface, but I still get more spam than legit mail in my inbox. YMMV, obviously.

    Mailblocks kept track of intercepted messages. It had zapped about 41,000 for me in two years' time.
  7. Turock


    Apr 30, 2000
    Yes, there is a new Sober virus spreading around. It comes as an attachment to: returned email, a Paris Hilton video, a CIA or FBI message saying that you have visited illegal sites, a registration confirmation, a "your password". All of these have a zipped attachment. Don't open them. If the attached file is opened, the worm scans the user's computer for other email addresses to infect.
  8. cdef


    Jul 18, 2003
  9. I've been using gmail for 15 months now, 2 accounts, neither one gets spammed at all. I love Gmail.
  10. Alvaro Martín Gómez A.

    Alvaro Martín Gómez A. TalkBass' resident Bongo + cowbell player

    Exactly. Thanks for the info and the link! Fortunately I'm very careful, have a good-updated antivirus and never open files from unknown surces, so this is nothing more than an annoyance.
  11. Akami

    Akami Four on the floor

    Mar 6, 2005
    It bears repeating that one of the best ways of avoiding getting included in mailing lists is for your address not to thrown around in forwarded messages where someone posts the address of everyone they know in the To: window.

    Only the main receipients address goes in the To: window, everyone elses goes in the Bcc: window, then noone gets everyone elses address, and all the receipients feel that they received personal e-mail and not a bulk mailing.