Feeds

Spammers jump on Gmail, Hotmail mass-hack gravy train

Like manna from heaven

High performance access to file storage

This week's airing of some 30,000 compromised Windows Live and Google Mail accounts has coincided with a spike in spam from those two services that promote sketchy electronics dealers, a researcher said.

Over the past few days, spam promoting fraudulent electronics stores has increased by as much as 40 per cent, according to Patrik Runald, senior manager of security research at Websense. Almost all of it originates from Hotmail or Gmail addresses and most are sent only to contacts in the address book of the compromised account.

Such faux testimonials for online electronics stores have been around for months. The significant increase comes as miscreants have sprayed the web with the user names and passwords for as many as 30,000 webmail accounts. The timing makes Runald think there's a connection between the two.

"The correlation of these lists going into the public domain and a 35 to 40 per cent increase in these types of scams going around on Hotmail and Gmail, its a nice coincidence if nothing else," he told The Reg. "It sounds reasonable to believe they're actually related."

Over the past 24 hours, Websense has tracked more than a half-dozen domains used to peddle MacBooks, Blackberries and other electronics for prices that sound too good to be true. One of the sites, sale-buys.com, for instance, was offering a Toshiba Satellite Pro laptop for $320.

It offered only two payment options: Western Union and a bank transfer. Not surprisingly, several people who fell for the scam and were contacted by Websense reported not receiving merchandise they had paid for. They told Websense they were tricked at least in part because the email appeared to come from someone they knew.

One explanation for the increase in the scam spam is that the people behind it are taking advantage of the fresh infusion of compromised email addresses included in the lists.

"In a way, it's a very old-school type of attack," Runald said. "There are no advanced trojans or anything." ®

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
Parent gabfest Mumsnet hit by SSL bug: My heart bleeds, grins hacker
Natter-board tells middle-class Britain to purée its passwords
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
OpenSSL Heartbleed: Bloody nose for open-source bleeding hearts
Bloke behind the cockup says not enough people are helping crucial crypto project
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
German space centre endures cyber attack
Chinese code retrieved but NSA hack not ruled out
Experian subsidiary faces MEGA-PROBE for 'selling consumer data to fraudster'
US attorneys general roll up sleeves, snap on gloves
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
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.
HP ArcSight ESM solution helps Finansbank
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
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.