Nine in ten emails now spam
River of junk stems from malware plague
Nine in ten emails are now spam with an estimated 200bn junk mail messages a day clogging up the internet, according to a new report by networking and security giant Cisco.
Drive-by download attacks - planting redirection scripts on legitimate sites that lead onto hacker controlled websites full of exploits - have become a popular method for spreading all forms of malware, including botnet clients that turn PCs into spam-churning zombies.
The US is the single biggest source of spam, accounting for 17.2 per cent of junk mail. Other big offenders include Turkey (9.2 per cent), Russia (8 per cent), Canada (4.7 per cent), Brazil (4.1 per cent), India (3.5 per cent), South Korea (3.3 per cent), Germany and the UK (2.9 per cent each).
The latest 2008 edition of Cisco's annual security report notes a 90 percent growth in threats stemming from legitimate domains, nearly double that recorded in 2007. Numerous mainstream websites were loaded with iFrames, malicious scripts that redirect visitors to malware-downloading sites.
The compromise of legitimate domains is all part of the bigger picture of increasingly sophisticated attacks which these days are usually tied to cybercrooks looking to turn a fast buck, rather than teenagers looking to make a name for themselves.
Vulnerabilities are the fodder of these cyberattacks - Cisco reports that vulnerabilities increased 11.5 per cent from 2007. One of the big growth areas in this overall figure was a rise in vulnerabilities involving virtualisation technology, which almost trebled from 35 last year to 103 in 2008.
Almost no canned meat for me!
I have simple advice to block SPAM.
1 - Create a gmail address
2 - Get your ISP to forward your email to the gmail address.
3 - Retrieve your email from gmail using POP3 or IMAP (Outlook Express, Outlook, Thunderbird, etc.)
4 - Optional: Create obscure second address at ISP and forward to that from gmail if you need multiple POP clients using 'leave message on server for x days' or you get some weird auth fault with gmail over POP3, or you have problems getting SMTP to quote your original email as the source.
Virtually no SPAM, very few false positives.
Downside? Google reads your mail.
Score: Last 30 days: 230 SPAM, 1051 Legit from 10 year old address. (Disclaimer: Spamassassin might have eaten some before they got to Gmail, not entirely sure.)
Re: Re: spum-churning zombies
I approve this message. Typos notwithstanding.
@Stop it at the source
Can I just second his comments.
Why not block at the source? Also - there should be easier ways for mail exchangers to drop messages that look like spam (due to invalid addresses) - incorrect DNS/ID's.
My work mail hardly gets any spam (which is good) but my home e-mail fits with that figure above. The annoying thing is they have spam filtering at the server but there were too many false positives - so now let it come through and filter on my home PC using virus scanning, whitelists and rules.
The downside is that I get a fair few megabytes of e-mail coming down which takes a while on my internet ADSL link.
My home PC is firewalled for some outbound ports with only my mail client actually being allowed to send mail. I also have spyware tools running in resident to avoid the things getting on in the first place. I've (touch wood) had no spybots/spambots on my machine. (There's been plenty of attempts though).
Users need education on securing their own PC's and networks - after all broadband has effectively given them things like DMZ's, firewalls, DHCP addresses that hardly change, 24x7x365 online.