Feeds

Spammers adopt slippery tactics to bypass ISP defences

Botnets repurposed

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Security for virtualized datacentres

Spam levels are rising even though the percentage of junk mail spewed out from compromised PCs directly is on the slide. Tests by email security firm MessageLabs on 90,000 inbound connections to its honeypot servers on 1 October 2004 revealed that 79 per cent of the connections came from "open proxy" computers or zombies (computers typically compromised by a virus or Trojan infection). The same tests on 1 February 2005 showed this number had dropped to 59 per cent.

Messagelabs stats showed spam levels had risen from 72 per cent of inbound email traffic in September 04 to 83 per cent of inbound email by January 2005. Put together the findings provide evidence that spammers are changing tactics in order to get around the defences established by ISPs.

"Some ISPs now routinely block TCP port 25 (SMTP) traffic, or even force email traffic to be sent via the ISPs own email servers, which in turn is forcing the spammers to become more innovative with their techniques," said Paul Wood, chief information security analyst at MessageLabs. "Software such as Send-Safe with its recent "proxy lock" feature now enables the spammers to instruct the bots to relay the spam through each bot's ISP email server, rather than to attempt delivery itself, and the benefits to the spammer can be clearly seen in these results." ®

Related stories

Send-Safe spam tool gang evicted by MCI
Bagle variants served up with spam
Phishermen attack on a viral scale
Malware, spam prompts mass net turn off

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
NASTY SSL 3.0 vuln to be revealed soon – sources (Update: It's POODLE)
So nasty no one's even whispering until patch is out
Russian hackers exploit 'Sandworm' bug 'to spy on NATO, EU PCs'
Fix imminent from Microsoft for Vista, Server 2008, other stuff
Microsoft pulls another dodgy patch
Redmond makes a hash of hashing add-on
'LulzSec leader Aush0k' found to be naughty boy not worthy of jail
15 months home detention leaves egg on feds' faces as they grab for more power
Forget passwords, let's use SELFIES, says Obama's cyber tsar
Michael Daniel wants to kill passwords dead
FBI boss: We don't want a backdoor, we want the front door to phones
Claims it's what the Founding Fathers would have wanted – catching killers and pedos
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.