Articles about Spam


Google says its AI will jetwash all traces of malodorous spam from your box

Google has proclaimed its rightful place among the Gods by creating an artificial intelligence so sophisticated it can block 99.9 per cent of spam - and this with only a 0.05 per cent false positive rate. The rise of the machines is here, and now mankind has loosed them upon its spam it can be only a matter of time before they …

Spanking Spam King: Sanford Wallace faces jail for Facebook flood

The Las Vegas man known as the "Spam King" is now facing a stretch behind bars after pleading guilty to spamming tens of millions of people on Facebook –despite being legally barred from doing so. Sanford Wallace agreed to a plea deal that reportedly could see him sent down for as long as three years. The deal, agreed to on …
Shaun Nichols, 25 Aug 2015
Wall of Spam. Pic: freezelight

Wordpress munching contagion turns Linux servers into spam bots

The Mumblehard malware is turning Linux and BSD server into spam-spewing zombies. Security researchers at ESET have logged over 8,500 unique IP addresses during a seven-month research period looking into the junk-mail-linked malware menace. Mumblehard is made up of two different components. The first component is a generic …
John Leyden, 01 May 2015

TalkTalk deactivates hundreds of email accounts after legacy spam scare

Hundreds of TalkTalk customers have been locked out of their email accounts after the network took steps to deactivate legacy addresses. Customers took to the company's forum to complain their accounts had been deactivated, seemingly without warning. The company appears to have only targeted Tiscali and Lineone email …
Kat Hall, 17 Jul 2015
Samsung gesture control settings

Samsung looks into spam ads appearing on Brits' smart TVs

Samsung is launching an investigation into British customers receiving spam ads in their smart TVs. Sammy appears to be sending ads directly to some TVs using the notification bar, which was previously used to alert system updates. One reader got in touch with The Register to complain there has been no explanation or solution …
Kat Hall, 06 Aug 2015
Targeted Spam

Mushy spam law's IDEAL for toothless watchdog: Spamhaus slams CAN-SPAM

Antispam organisation Spamhaus has reacted phlegmatically to a recent survey that one in 10 of the world’s largest online retailers are still violating the CAN-SPAM Act, a full 10 years after the US anti-spam legislation went into effect. Richard Cox, CIO of The Spamhaus Project, suggested the Online Trust Alliance (OTA)'s …
John Leyden, 22 Sep 2014
Spam musubi

Post-pub nosh neckfiller: Chopstick-collapsing Spam musubi

Those of you of delicate culinary sensibilities would do well to look away now as we present for your wobbly dining pleasure the highly improbable Hawaiian-Japanese canned pork fusion cuisine that is Spam musubi. This Pacific island classic was apparently concocted up by Hawaii's Japanese population after they were introduced …
Lester Haines, 12 Jul 2015

Data retention soggy with SPAM

Telcos will be required to retain data on spam, failed email, and borked voice over IP phone calls under the Australian Federal Government's looming data retention plan. Data retention comes into effect 15 October. It requires telecommunications providers retain metadata information on subscribers but not the content of …
Darren Pauli, 01 Sep 2015
Grand Theft Auto Lindsay Lohan lookalike

BLAM! Valve slams brakes on Steam flimflam with $5 spam scram plan

Video-gaming kingpin Valve has promised to do a better job of protecting its subscribers from dollops of spam, by applying a $5 limit on user accounts before unlocking a number of key features. The company explained the new strategy in a post on its support forum. It said that features – including friend invites, group chat, …
Kelly Fiveash, 19 Apr 2015

Plusnet could face DATA BREACH probe over SPAM HELL gripes

Exclusive BT-owned Plusnet faces a possible data breach investigation by Britain's Information Commissioner's Office, after complaints from the ISP's customers about their email accounts being swamped by spam were dismissed. As The Register reported last week, an unknown number of subscribers expressed concern that their email accounts …
Kelly Fiveash, 15 Dec 2014
Spam image

Ten years on, TEN PER CENT of retailers aren't obeying CAN-SPAM

One in 10 of the world’s largest online retailers are sill violating the CAN-SPAM Act, a full 10 years after the US anti-spam legislation went into effect. The finding comes from an audit by the Online Trust Alliance (OTA), a non-profit with the mission to enhance online trust. They also found that 70 per cent of 200 online …
John Leyden, 18 Sep 2014

BILLION email address spam scam: Feds collar two blokes, hunt another

The US Department of Justice (DoJ) has shed light on what it's calling the largest computer security breach in American history – after three men were charged with hacking email hosting firms, stealing email addresses, and then using the businesses' data centers to run a spam operation. "These men — operating from Vietnam, the …
Iain Thomson, 06 Mar 2015

Security rEsrchRs find nu way 2 spot TXT spam

Symantec boffins reckon it's no longer enough to shield e-mail users from malicious email and that spam and phishing over SMS are now worthy of some decent defences. They've even penned a study to back up the proposition, suggesting that SMS spam could be 97 per cent detectable with a false positive rate as low as 0.02 per cent …
Targeted Spam

Authorities swoop on illicit Wolverhampton SPAM FARM

UK data privacy experts have raided an SMS spam farm blamed for spewing out more than 350,000 nuisance messages to mobiles. The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) seized hundreds of SIM cards on Thursday, after raiding a SIM farm in offices in Wolverhampton. Initial estimates suggest the impounded kit could have been used …
John Leyden, 27 May 2014

Ashley Madison spam starts, as leak linked to first suicide

Part of the near-inevitable wash-up from the Ashley Madison hack has begun, with people reporting getting emails offering to save them from embarrassment, and a possible suicide in the USA. The misery caused by the hack is already in evidence in this report of a San Antonio city employee named in the Ashley Madison database …

iMessage SPAM floods US mobile networks

China-based counterfeiters are spamvertising knock-off designer goods using Apple iMessage instead of using conventional email spam runs. iMessage has been hit with the single largest US mobile spam campaign this year. The campaign, which has been going on for months, was large enough to account for more than 80 per cent of all …
John Leyden, 24 Oct 2014
chalk outline of  human body at crime scene

What kind of mugs do you take us for? Malicious sites in spam scams target UK

Spam destined for recipients in the UK is almost three times more likely to contain a malicious URL than unsolicited email sent to the United States. Unsolicited email in Germany and France is significantly less likely than mail sent to the US to contain malicious URLs. This means that, on average, an unsolicited email sitting …
John Leyden, 12 Sep 2014

FedEx helps deliver THOUSANDS of spam messages DIRECT to its Blighty customers

Fed-up FedEx customers in the UK were hit by an email storm yesterday, after a sad sap at the delivery company mistakenly hit the reply-all button on a daily alerts mailing list. Inevitably, it was then besieged by jokers, spammers and idiots replying with the request to be removed from the list. Reg reader, Nick, who flagged …
Team Register, 21 Oct 2014
Photo from stage looking out on crowd

Manchester festival marketers fined £70,000 over spam ‘mum’ texts

Organisers of a Manchester music festival have been fined £70,000 after sending unsolicited marketing text messages. The digital junk was sent to 70,000 people who had bought tickets for the 2014 edition of Manchester's annual festival, the Parklife Weekender, and appeared on the recipients’ mobes to have been sent by "Mum". …
John Leyden, 08 Dec 2014

AOL Mail locks down email servers to deal with spam tsunami

If you've been getting a lot of spam from AOL emails recently it's not because you've fallen into a time rift and it's the nineties all over again – the company has confirmed that it has been under an intensive spoofing attack. The problems started three days ago when large volumes of email, apparently from AOL Mail's servers, …
Iain Thomson, 23 Apr 2014

Chinese cops cuff 1,500 in fake base station spam raid

China’s police have arrested over 1,500 people on suspicion of using fake base stations to send out mobile SMS spam. The current crackdown, began in February, according to Reuters. Citing a Ministry of Public Security missive, the newswire says a group operating in north-east Liaoning province, bordering North Korea, is …
Phil Muncaster, 26 Mar 2014

AOL confirms security breach from spam attack

AOL has issued a warning to users that their personal information has been stolen by attackers, a week after the security of its servers was questioned. The net giant on Monday said that the same hackers behind last week's spam deluge were able to infiltrate its servers and lift information including email addresses, contact …
Shaun Nichols, 28 Apr 2014
Fawlty Towers

Plusnet customers SWAMPED by spam but BT-owned ISP dismisses data breach claims

BT-owned ISP Plusnet has rebuffed concerns from customers who are worried that their email accounts have been compromised by spammers. Despite the protests, at time of writing, Sheffield-based Plusnet was yet to turn itself into the UK's data watchdog – even just as a symbolic gesture to placate subscribers who fear that a …
Kelly Fiveash, 07 Dec 2014

There's a Moose loose aboot this hoose: Linux worm hijacks Twitter feeds for spam slinging

ESET researchers Olivier Bilodeau and Thomas Dupuy have found malware capable of compromising routers and embedded devices, seizing control of social networking accounts, and booting out competitors. The duo report the Moose malware exploits weak login credentials in the networking gear, and does not require vulnerabilities to …
Darren Pauli, 26 May 2015

Not your father's spam: Trojan slingers attach badness to attachment WITHIN attachment

Cybercrooks are upping the ante by loading malware as an attachment inside another attachment in a bid to slip past security defences. A new variant of the Upatre Trojan comes bundled in spammed messages that imitate emails from known banks such as Lloyds Bank and Wells Fargo. The .MSG file of the malicious emails contains …
John Leyden, 08 Apr 2014
Targeted Spam

Spam drops as legit biz dumps mass email ads: Only the dodgy remain

Spam email was down in volume last year, but junk mail messages still comprise two in three items of electronic communication sent over the interwebs. Kaspersky Lab reports the portion of spam in email flows was as high as 69.6 per cent in 2013 – which is 2.5 percentage points lower than 2012. The biggest sources of spam were …
John Leyden, 24 Jan 2014
Indonesia's spiffing No Spam logo

Google views, reviews YouTube viewers' views with view to killing off spam shams

Google is attempting to stamp out fake views on its video-sharing website YouTube - which is reportedly about to get a new boss in the shape of the company's ad honcho Susan Wojcicki. The ad giant claimed that YouTube was "a place for meaningful human interaction" and as such shouldn't be tainted by spam. Google said in a blog …
Kelly Fiveash, 05 Feb 2014
The Ultima Tool Chest's fridge

Cybercrooks slide fingers into TELLIES+FRIDGES, spam splurge ensues

Miscreants have launched an Internet of Things-based cyberattack involving household "smart" appliances. The global spam distribution campaign involved more than 750,000 malicious email communications coming from more than 100,000 everyday consumer gadgets. Items such as home-networking routers, connected multi-media centres, …
John Leyden, 17 Jan 2014

You have a Skype voicemail. PSYCHE! It's just some fiendish Trojan-flinging spam

A spam run of fake Skype voicemail alert emails actually comes packed with malware, a UK police agency warns. Action Fraud said the zip file attachments come contaminated with a variant of the notorious ZeuS banking Trojan. Messages typically come with the subject line “You received a new message from Skype voicemail service”. …
John Leyden, 28 Nov 2013
Cartoon of  green skeletal figure reaching out of phone

Will we ever can the spam monster?

Spam may be the best known security threat in the world. Anyone with email or a Facebook account has experienced it, despite providers’ best efforts to block it from their inboxes. And although the world’s cyber warriors have taken down large chunks of infrastructure hosting massive spam campaigns, it remains a huge problem. As …
Tom Brewster, 06 Oct 2014

New voting rules leave innocent Brits at risk of SPAM TSUNAMI

Changes to the electoral registration system have sparked fears that Britons are about to be swamped by a tsunami of unwanted spam from companies that harvest and sell on citizens' personal data. The Register has learned that a number of councils across the UK have not properly informed residents how to enter their details on …
Jasper Hamill, 15 Aug 2014
Indonesia's spiffing No Spam logo

Payday loan firms are the WORST. Ugh, my mobe's FILLED with filthy SPAM

Messages from payday loan and gambling companies have come to dominate incident of mobile spam in the UK over recent months. SMS payday loan spam continues to be a mainstay of UK text message spammers, according to a study by Cloudmark. Although Office of Fair Trading investigations and related clampdown saw 19 of the 50 …
John Leyden, 28 Oct 2013

Stale Blackhole leads to dried-up spam, claim badhat-probers

Security researchers at Trend Micro reckon that Blackhole, cybercrooks' preferred tool for running drive-by download attacks from compromised websites, is no longer being updated. This means the utility - which was available for rent at around $50 a day - has quickly gone stale. Nature abhors a vacuum, though, and malware- …
John Leyden, 12 Nov 2013

GOOGLE GMAIL ATE MY LINUX: Gobbled email enrages Torvalds

Linux kernel supremo Linus Torvalds has published a scathing open letter to Google's Gmail team after discovering that the service had incorrectly marked hundreds of his incoming email threads as spam – including ones containing kernel patches. "Something you did recently has been an unmitigated disaster," Torvalds wrote in …
Neil McAllister, 17 Jul 2015

SPAM supposedly spotted leaving the fridge

It's still silly season, it seems. Tell the world that a bunch of small business broadband routers have been compromised and recruited into botnets, and the world yawns. Add in a television or a multi-media centre, and there's a faint flicker of interest – perhaps a raised eyebrow, but not much more. Add in the word “ …

Singapore slings £18k fine at text-spam-spaffing biz owner

A Singapore tuition agency and its director have become the first to be prosecuted and fined under the country’s Personal Data Protection Act (PDPA), which came into force on 2 January 2014. Star Zest Home Tuition, and its director, Law Han Wei, were each fined 39,000 Singapore dollars (SGD) (£18,800 $31,100) by the State Courts …
OUT-LAW.COM, 02 Sep 2014
Wall of Spam. Pic: freezelight

Spamquake subsides: less than half of email is now processed pork

Spam levels have fallen to below 50 per cent of all email sent for the first time in a decade, according to security firm Symantec. The milestone comes from a 1.8 per cent decline in spam rates from last month, when spam accounted for 51.5 per cent of sent email. Threat bod Ben Nahorney said it was the lowest rate since …
Darren Pauli, 20 Jul 2015

JAILBREAK! US smut spam king Kilbride flees minimum security prison

Updated A manhunt is underway in California following the escape of convicted porn spammer Jeffrey Kilbride from a minimum security prison camp within the Lompoc Federal Correction Complex. Kilbride and his associate James Schaffer were jailed in 2007 on a variety of charges related to their long-running email business, including fraud …
Neil McAllister, 29 Dec 2013

German music moguls slammed for 'wurst ever DMCA takedown spam'

A German record label's bungling anti-piracy software flooded Google with demands to remove search results – just because the links included the word "download" in their URLs. Total Wipes Music Group says it never meant to falsely accuse sites – including, and – of hosting illegal …
Shaun Nichols, 23 Feb 2015
Homer Simpson reading on PC

How I poured a client's emails straight into the spam bin – with one Friday evening change

Sysadmin blog By misunderstanding how a single word was being used, I caused a boo-boo that counts as "really stepped in it this time". After a lot of research and testing, I thought that months of "the spam filter is crap, make all the spam go away" warring with "the spam filter is too restrictive because $client can't send me his JavaScript …
Trevor Pott, 04 Jun 2014

Ancient pager tech SMS: It works, it's fab, but wow, get a load of that incoming SPAM

The infrastructure for text messaging is creaking. Not only does it need to be fixed, but it seems mobile operators don’t understand enough about their own systems to do it themselves. This is according to Louise O'Sullivan, CEO of mobile solutions firm Anam Technologies. She maintains that the problem that needs fixing lies in …
Simon Rockman, 11 Aug 2014
A boat full of Fail

Mavericks Mail's spam-spewing 'flaw' was scripted by red-faced user

FastMail, the cloudy messaging outfit that earlier this week proclaimed it had found a nasty bug in the way OS X Mavericks' Mail client talks IMAP, has retracted its analysis. The title of the new post, “Apple mail 'bug' turns out to be user script after all” tells you most of what you need to know about the situation. Here's …
Simon Sharwood, 31 Oct 2013
Targeted Spam

ICO decides against probe of Santander email spam scammers

Santander customers say they are continuing to be deluged with Trojans and other junk to email addresses exclusively used with the bank months after the problem first surfaced back in November. At least two Reg readers have put in complaints to the Information Commissioner's Office. But the data privacy watchdog told us that it …
John Leyden, 21 Mar 2014

NatWest 'spam' email cockup got me slapped with late payment fee, says angry Reg reader

NatWest customers should watch out for lost credit card statements as an IT cockup has been blamed for one Register reader getting smacked with a late payment fee. A reader told The Reg how he was fined by NatWest for missing the regular payment on his credit card. The reader, who wishes to remain anonymous, receives his …
Gavin Clarke, 28 Jan 2014
The Register breaking news

Belarus becomes world's top country ... for SPAM

Belarus has eclipsed the US to become the biggest single source of global spam, according to cloud-based email and web security firm AppRiver. Junk volumes from the landlocked former Soviet republic, which borders Poland and Russia, hit an all-time high on 13 April and have sustained this level since then. In January, AppRiver …
John Leyden, 30 May 2013

べーコンはどこですか? demands post-pub nosh fan

Our recent foray into the remarkable world of Hawaiian-Japanese fusion post-pub cuisine prompted some entertaining commentard chatter. Spam musubi on a plate Amid teary-eyed recollections of Spam fritters and pink blancmange, wit 1980's_coder delivered an inevitable but nonetheless highly agreeable verdict on Spam musubi, …
Lester Haines, 22 Jul 2015
Hillary Clinton

Hillary spillery finds half-hearted phishery

In spite of US Presidential wannabe Hillary Clinton being one of the world's most recognisable names, hackers were so slack they only managed to get five phishing emails into her now-famous personal email server. The Associated Press calls the too-lazy-to-live attackers “Russian-linked”, but that's just because if the …

Virgin Media so, so SORRY for turning spam fire-hose on its punters

Virgin Media has apologised for a blunder that resulted in some of its customers being bombarded with a deluge of emails. The broadband biz emailed Brits who use its email service, which is provided by Google, to warn them of some changes: from the end of April, Virgin Broadband customers won't be able to log into …
Indonesia's spiffing No Spam logo

Guess which major US telco ISN'T cracking down on premium SMS spam?

AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile have agreed to stop charging their customers for premium text messages (PSMS), a practice that costs US folks an estimated $2bn in excess charges a year. The ban isn't total – Verizon isn't stopping the practice because it says it is still in the process of winding down its PSMS service. But it's not a …
Iain Thomson, 23 Nov 2013

McDonalds fried for serving spam

Australia’s Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has flogged McDonalds with lettuce leaves after the fast food concern didn’t properly think of the children with an online promotion that served up big helpings of spam emails. The case came about after McDonalds’ antipodean outpost cooked up and baked in a ‘ …
Simon Sharwood, 19 Dec 2012