Feeds

Spammers go island hopping to bypass filter

See you in Sao Tome

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Anti-spam researchers at security company McAfee have discovered a new spamming trend nicknamed 'spam island-hopping'.

The new trend involves spammers using the domain names of small islands as website links in spam campaigns. McAfee has traced spam activity from the Isle of Man to the tiny tropical island of Tokelau in the South Pacific.

Traditionally, spammers have used well known top level domains such as dot-com, dot-biz or dot-info. By using top level domains from small island countries, spammers attempt to avoid detection by using domains that spam filters do not recognise accustomed as they are to blocking the well known domains.

Using a lesser-known top level domain changes the game and makes it harder to distinguish spam from legitimate e-mail by examining the links in the e-mails.

This trend was first discovered when McAfee researchers noticed a significant increase in the use of dot-st domains, which is the top level domain for Sao Tome and Principe, a small island off the west coast of Africa.

This unusual activity raised flags for McAfee's researchers, who then tracked the spammers on a virtual migration around the globe. Subsequently, spam using top level domains from small islands has continued to increase.

"This new trend is another example of spammers' relentless quest to spread their abuse of internet domains far and wide," said Guy Roberts, senior development manager on McAfee's anti-spam research & development team. "Some of these islands have dozens of spammed domains per square mile."

Copyright © 2006, ENN

Remote control for virtualized desktops

More from The Register

next story
You really need to do some tech support for Aunty Agnes
Free anti-virus software, expires, stops updating and p0wns the world
Regin: The super-spyware the security industry has been silent about
NSA fingered as likely source of complex malware family
You stupid BRICK! PCs running Avast AV can't handle Windows fixes
Fix issued, fingers pointed, forums in flames
Privacy bods offer GOV SPY VICTIMS a FREE SPYWARE SNIFFER
Looks for gov malware that evades most antivirus
Patch NOW! Microsoft slings emergency bug fix at Windows admins
Vulnerability promotes lusers to domain overlords ... oops
HACKERS can DELETE SURVEILLANCE DVRS remotely – report
Hikvision devices wide open to hacking, claim securobods
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
Go beyond APM with real-time IT operations analytics
How IT operations teams can harness the wealth of wire data already flowing through their environment for real-time operational intelligence.
Why CIOs should rethink endpoint data protection in the age of mobility
Assessing trends in data protection, specifically with respect to mobile devices, BYOD, and remote employees.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.