Risk
5/27/2009
02:24 PM
Keith Ferrell
Keith Ferrell
Commentary
Connect Directly
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Spam Surge: 9 Out Of 10 E-mails Can't Be Good!

90% of all email was spam last month, according to Symantec's MessageLabs Intelligence Report, just released. The figure is up more than 5% in the last month. Good news, I guess, is that things can't get much more than 10% worse from here.

90% of all email was spam last month, according to Symantec's MessageLabs Intelligence Report, just released. The figure is up more than 5% in the last month. Good news, I guess, is that things can't get much more than 10% worse from here.The new MessageLabs Intelligence Report quantifies a number of trends, measured in April traffic, that give some insight into how the spammers are coming at us:

Spam runs on U.S. time: Spam levels peak in the U.S. between 9am and 10am, local. MessageLabs' conclusion is that either the most active spammers are based in the U.S., or that that first full hour of the workday is when recipients are likeliest to respond. My guess -- and it is a guess -- is that it's the latter; people settling in to work may be easier marks while the first cup of coffee is still warm than later in the day when they're preoccupied with other (one hopes more work-related) demands.

CAPTCHA can't catch 'em: The number of effective CAPTCHA-cracking tools is letting the spammers get around the random letter/number tests designed to keep spammers from getting around them; hence, the sharp increase in the number of phony social network and webmail accounts the spammers are creating. The report suggests that new, tougher CAPTCHA-esque technology on the horizon is driving spammers to CAPTCHA while the CAPTCHA-ing is good. Botnets are the base: Close to 60% of spam was botnet-generated, with the three most active bots accounting for more than a third of spam.

Social nets net spam: No news here that social networks, and free mail services are prime targets for address harvesting and malicious link distribution.

As I said at the outset, the spam situation, statistically, can't get much worse.

Bur of course it doesn't have to.

The complete MessagLabs Intelligence Report for May, 2009 can be downloaded here.

Looking to keep security high and security expenditures low? Check out bMighty bSecure SMB Security On A Budget, now available on-demand.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Flash Poll
Current Issue
Cartoon
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2014-4734
Published: 2014-07-21
Cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerability in e107_admin/db.php in e107 2.0 alpha2 and earlier allows remote attackers to inject arbitrary web script or HTML via the type parameter.

CVE-2014-4960
Published: 2014-07-21
Multiple SQL injection vulnerabilities in models\gallery.php in Youtube Gallery (com_youtubegallery) component 4.x through 4.1.7, and possibly 3.x, for Joomla! allow remote attackers to execute arbitrary SQL commands via the (1) listid or (2) themeid parameter to index.php.

CVE-2014-5016
Published: 2014-07-21
Multiple cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerabilities in LimeSurvey 2.05+ Build 140618 allow remote attackers to inject arbitrary web script or HTML via (1) the pid attribute to the getAttribute_json function to application/controllers/admin/participantsaction.php in CPDB, (2) the sa parameter to appl...

CVE-2014-5017
Published: 2014-07-21
SQL injection vulnerability in CPDB in application/controllers/admin/participantsaction.php in LimeSurvey 2.05+ Build 140618 allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary SQL commands via the sidx parameter in a JSON request to admin/participants/sa/getParticipants_json, related to a search parameter...

CVE-2014-5018
Published: 2014-07-21
Incomplete blacklist vulnerability in the autoEscape function in common_helper.php in LimeSurvey 2.05+ Build 140618 allows remote attackers to conduct cross-site scripting (XSS) attacks via the GBK charset in the loadname parameter to index.php, related to the survey resume.

Best of the Web
Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
Where do information security startups come from? More important, how can I tell a good one from a flash in the pan? Learn how to separate ITSec wheat from chaff in this episode.