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Risk

2/25/2009
10:23 AM
Keith Ferrell
Keith Ferrell
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MessageLabs: Recession Spam Volume Shows No Recession In Spam

Spam subject lines reflect public concerns, curiosities, interests -- and fears, as the surge in recession-oriented spam shows. This latest surge includes a tricky search engine link tactic that you need to be aware of.

Spam subject lines reflect public concerns, curiosities, interests -- and fears, as the surge in recession-oriented spam shows. This latest surge includes a tricky search engine link tactic that you need to be aware of.A new MessageLabs threat report points out both the dramatic jump in recession-oriented spam and the employment of a technique that seeks to enlist search engines in guiding gullible users to the spammers' domains.

The recession-oriented spamlimes are pretty predictable, playing off variations of tough times, discounts and tight money. The sorts of things that, one hopes, you and your employees and staff are already all too aware of, and aware of the need to avoid.

For those who don't avoid the come-ons, though, the links in the spam message are tricky. Rather than directly steering users to the spammers' site -- the specific link to which may have been indexed by the search engine, as well as being recognized and blocked by anti-spamware -- but to a search engine, from which the user is quided to click on search results that, in turn, take them to the spammers' sites.

Another approach, in other words, to getting around anti-spam defenses.

Whether or not this approach proves effective -- spammers don't try things because they think they won't work -- it offers a good starting point for reminding your employees of the spam basics:

Don't open unsolicited mail

Don't fall for subject lines aimed at getting you to open unsolicited mail

Don't click on links in unsolicited mail you shouldn't have opened but did because you fell for a subject line you should have been wary of

The sorts of things, in other words, that "everybody" knows -- and if they did, then even new techniques and recession-oriented spam wouldn't get any results at all.

Check Out This bMighty Backgrounder: HOW TO SECURE YOUR NETWORK AGAINST SPAM

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