Feeds

Spammers add a new dimension to junk mail

Say hello to 3D spam

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

Spammers have added a fresh dimension to the fight against junk mail with the creation of image spam rendered in a pseudo 3D layout.

The use of images as opposed to simple junk messages as a way to punt penis pills, refinancing offers and the like has being going on for months. The approach is designed to fool basic spam filters and is, these days, seldom effective. In order to have any hope of success, spammers must use the computing power of compromised machines to create a uniquely modified image in each spam email. Failure to do this would enable spam filters to discard known spam images.

Spammers have now extended this approach by using images that have been modified by adding colours, changing fonts and inserting random dots and lines so that they appear to be in "three dimensions". The effect is even less convincing than squinting at Jaws 3D through a pair of coloured glasses. It's also even more nauseating.

Net security firm F-Secure has noticed an upsurge in the 3D spam tactic over the past few days. "Generating images like this is, of course, more computing intensive but spammers have lots of computing power at their disposal via the huge botnets they are running. It's not like they couldn't afford to render unique 3D spam for every recipient," F-Secure notes.

The appearance of 3D junk mail is part of the ongoing arms race between spammers - anxious to slip their tiresome messages past junk mail filters - and security firms.

Following on from the now established tactic of sending junk mail messages in the images of emails or in PDF attachments, users now have to contend with spam messages in the FDF (Forms Data Format) and now three dimensional junk mail come-ons. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
14 antivirus apps found to have security problems
Vendors just don't care, says researcher, after finding basic boo-boos in security software
'Things' on the Internet-of-things have 25 vulnerabilities apiece
Leaking sprinklers, overheated thermostats and picked locks all online
iWallet: No BONKING PLEASE, we're Apple
BLE-ding iPhones, not NFC bonkers, will drive trend - marketeers
Only '3% of web servers in top corps' fully fixed after Heartbleed snafu
Just slapping a patched OpenSSL on a machine ain't going to cut it, we're told
Multipath TCP speeds up the internet so much that security breaks
Black Hat research says proposed protocol will bork network probes, flummox firewalls
How long is too long to wait for a security fix?
Synology finally patches OpenSSL bugs in Trevor's NAS
Israel's Iron Dome missile tech stolen by Chinese hackers
Corporate raiders Comment Crew fingered for attacks
Tor attack nodes RIPPED MASKS off users for 6 MONTHS
Traffic confirmation attack bared users' privates - but to whom?
Roll out the welcome mat to hackers and crackers
Security chap pens guide to bug bounty programs that won't fail like Yahoo!'s
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
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.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.