Feeds

Sobig-F blamed for massive increase in spam

‘Spam engine’ goes into overdrive

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

3 Big data security analytics techniques

Two thirds of spam originates from computers infected by viruses such as Sobig-F, according to MessageLabs.

The email filtering firm blames Sobig-F, the world’s fastest spreading virus for a rise in both spam and viruses in 2003.

At its peak, one in every 17 emails stopped by MessageLabs contained a copy of Sobig-F. By December 1, more than 32 million emails containing the virus had been stopped by MessageLabs, making Sobig-F the biggest viral nuisance this year.

The ratio of spam to email this year is one in 2.5, compared with one in 11 a year ago, according to MessageLabs. Meanwhile, the ratio of viruses to email in 2003 is one in 33, compared with one in 212 a year ago. This is a record high for both viruses and spam.

According to MessageLabs, spam and viruses techniques are converging to “steal identities, defraud consumers and create hidden networks of infected consumers to send spam”.

Sobig-F is a classic example of a convergence between spam and virus writing techniques, says Mark Sunner, CTO, MessageLabs: “The convergence of virus and spam techniques has led to a much more sophisticated threat – the impact of which many firms have yet to grasp.

“Sobig sought not only to infect a machine and propagate further through mass mailing techniques, but also to compromise systems by exploiting open proxies. This backdoor route means that an infected PC can be turned into a spam engine."

MessageLabs’ End of Year Report, also notes a huge increase in phishing scams. Customers of NatWest, Citibank, Barclays, Lloyds TSB and eBay have all been targeted in scam emails in the last two months alone.

The Mimail-J virus was used to try to dupe PayPal users into handing over confidential financial information. ®

Top 10 Viruses of 2003, according to MessageLabs

  • Sobig-F (32,432,730)
  • Swen-A (4,184,129)
  • Klez-H (4,006,766)
  • Yaha-E (1,920,424)
  • Dumaru-A (1,129,061)
  • Mimail-A (1,052,481)
  • Yaha-M (862,682)
  • Sobig-A (842,729)
  • BugBear-B (814,865)
  • SirCam.A (511,578)

3 Big data security analytics techniques

More from The Register

next story
Obama allows NSA to exploit 0-days: report
If the spooks say they need it, they get it
Samsung Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner hacked in just 4 DAYS
Sammy's newbie cooked slower than iPhone, also costs more to build
Putin tells Snowden: Russia conducts no US-style mass surveillance
Gov't is too broke for that, Russian prez says
Snowden-inspired crypto-email service Lavaboom launches
German service pays tribute to Lavabit
Mounties always get their man: Heartbleed 'hacker', 19, CUFFED
Canadian teen accused of raiding tax computers using OpenSSL bug
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Call of Duty 'fragged using OpenSSL's Heartbleed exploit'
So it begins ... or maybe not, says one analyst
Arts and crafts store Michaels says 3 million credit cards exposed in breach
Meanwhile, Target investigators prepare for long process in nabbing hackers
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.