Feeds

Pump-and-dump spammers shift tactics

Buy low, spam high

High performance access to file storage

Pump-and-dump spammers are refining their tactics and marketing techniques in an attempt to drum up new business.

Junk mail scumbags are now targeting companies with offers to boost their stock prices in return for payment.

Pump-and-dump scams are email campaigns that seek to encourage armchair investors to sink their cash into particular firms' stock.

The goal is to quickly inflate interest in low-value stock with bogus insider info in order to ramp up share prices and sell at a profit before the inevitable crash and burn. Meanwhile those duped are left holding possibly worthless shares.

Most of these scams are thought to take place without the knowledge of firms that are the subject of the scams.

However, in a new twist seen in a junk mail campaign discovered by net security firm Sophos, scammers are telling companies that they can boost their own stock prices by up to 250 per cent within two to three weeks using junk mail.

The bogus offers even promise a one day free trial. Spam emails sent out as part of the campaign claim that the scammers will offer advice on future share price movements to investors, for a 30 per cent slice of supposed profits.

Sophos reports that pump-and-dump stock campaigns currently account for approximately 15 per cent of all spam, up from 0.8 percent in January 2005.

In related news, security experts have identified a "pump-and-dump" stock spam campaign that features an animated graphic to display a "subliminal" message to potential investors.

Spam messages seeking to pump up interest in a firm called Trimax display the animated message "Buy" every 15 seconds. By using images instead of text, junk mail messages might avoid detection by anti-spam filters that rely on the analysis of textual content alone.

The percentage of spam containing embedded images has risen sharply from 18.2 per cent in January to over 35 per cent last month, according to Sophos. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Obama allows NSA to exploit 0-days: report
If the spooks say they need it, they get it
OpenSSL Heartbleed: Bloody nose for open-source bleeding hearts
Bloke behind the cockup says not enough people are helping crucial crypto project
Web data BLEEDOUT: Users to feel the pain as Heartbleed bug revealed
Vendors and ISPs have work to do updating firmware - if it's possible to fix this
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
Heartbleed exploit, inoculation, both released
File under 'this is going to hurt you more than it hurts me'
Experian subsidiary faces MEGA-PROBE for 'selling consumer data to fraudster'
US attorneys general roll up sleeves, snap on gloves
Bad PUPPY: Undead Windows XP deposits fresh scamware on lawn
Installing random interwebs shiz will bork your zombie box
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
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.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.