Articles about Spam

Yahoo! couldn't! detect! hackers! in! its! network! but! can! spot! NSFW! smut! in! your! office?

Having laid bare over half a billion usernames and passwords through meager funding and witless indifference, Yahoo! is putting its faith in artificial intelligence to protect people from bare skin. Yahoo! engineers Jay Mahadeokar and Gerry Pesavento in a blog post on Friday said the company has released an open-source model …
Thomas Claburn, 30 Sep 2016
Value pack of two tins of Spam

Brit loan firm gets comeuppance for 7.7 million spam texts

The UK Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has fined a financial firm £130,000 after it sent out over seven million spam texts flogging credit cards. Manchester-based Intelligent Lending, trading as Ocean Finance, has also received an enforcement notice forcing it to stop sending out the spam, after it had sent out 7.7 …
Value pack of two tins of Spam

Dev teaches bot to talk spammers' ears off

Brian Weinreich has been trolling spammers for two years using a bot that fires realistic and ridiculous replies to the pervasive online salespeople. The noted security developer created the bot as a means to waste the time of the blowflies of the internet after being affronted by a deluge of unsolicited sales pitches directed …
Darren Pauli, 26 Sep 2016

Pramworld admits mailing list breach

UK baby care supplier Pramworld has admitted that a breach of its systems was the reason customers were sent spam emails on Friday. In a statement supplied to El Reg (below), Pramworld admitted its mailing list had been compromised while downplaying the problem and offering reassurance that payment information had not been …
John Leyden, 16 Sep 2016
shutterstock_184661174

SMiShing on the rise

Fraudsters are increasingly targeting mobile messaging apps such as WhatsApp. A quarter (26 per cent) of chat app users say they receive an unsolicited message every day, while 49 per cent receive at least one a week. The research by global trade body Mobile Ecosystem Forum and messaging specialist CLX Communications confirmed …
John Leyden, 15 Sep 2016
Man shouting the news from a rolled up newspaper

Spam texters fined £30K

Manchester firm Carfinance247 has been fined £30K over a spam text campaign. The car finance brokerage firm’s noxious text messaging tactics generated 912 complaints to the ICO, the UK’s data privacy watchdog. The firm’s four-month marketing campaign involved the distribution of 65,000 messages to people who hadn’t first …
John Leyden, 15 Sep 2016
Man peers into fridge with odd look on his face. Photo by shutterstock

Printers now the least-secure things on the internet

The Internet of Things is exactly as bad a security nightmare as pessimists think it is, according to Bitdefender's Bogdan Botezatu. The senior threat analyst at the Romanian security software company called by to chat to Vulture South while in Australia (we were, I suspect, meant to discuss the company's 2017 launches, but …

Sneaky Gugi banking trojan sidesteps Android OS security barricades

Updated Gugi, a bank-account-raiding trojan for smartphones, has been retooled to bypass Android 6's security features designed to block phishing attempts and ransomware infections. The modified malware forces users into giving it the ability to overlay genuine apps, send and view SMSes, make calls, and more. The software nasty is …
John Leyden, 06 Sep 2016

Having offended everyone else in the world, Linus Torvalds calls own lawyers a 'nasty festering disease'

Coding curmudgeon Linus Torvalds has gone off on yet another rant: this time against open-source-defending lawyers and free software activist Bradley Kuhn. On a mailing list about an upcoming Linux conference, a discussion about whether to include a session on the GPL that protects the open source operating system quickly …
Kieren McCarthy, 26 Aug 2016

If you haven't changed your Dropbox password for 4 years, do so now

Dropbox is forcing users to reset passwords that haven’t been changed since mid-2012, when LinkedIn suffered a mega-breach. An email sent to Dropbox users this morning informed them that the reset was solely a preventative measure, and not as a result of any new breach. Dropbox said that no accounts have been breached and the …

WhatsApp is to hand your phone number to Facebook

WhatsApp has updated its terms and privacy policy for the first time in four years as part of parent company Facebook’s plans to generate cash through app users' data. While WhatsApp has been a separate service from Facebook since its acquisition for $16bn two years ago, the companies are now going to enjoy a cosier …
Africa Studio http://www.shutterstock.com/gallery-137002p1.html

Intel douses Wildfire ransomware as-a-service Euro menace

An alliance of cops and anti-malware experts have doused the Wildfire ransomware that plagued users in Belgium and the Netherlands. Wildfire is carried in spam messages and demands up to 1.5 Bitcoins of ransom for files to be decrypted. Security researchers have uploaded 1,600 decryption keys with more to come to the No More …
Darren Pauli, 24 Aug 2016
Hacker

LinkedIn sues 100 information scrapers after technical safeguard fail

Microsoft-owned LinkedIn has filed a lawsuit in California against 100 unnamed individuals who circumvented its security technology to harvest data from its network of 400 million people. The lawsuit claims that the individuals used a specially created botnet that has been collecting data from the site since December 2015 and …
Iain Thomson, 16 Aug 2016
Newsroom

Clinton outphished by Trump

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump is outpacing rival Democrat nominee Hilary Clinton... in inspiring phishing campaigns. Donald Trump has had nearly 169 times as many spam lures as those featuring his Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton, email security biz Proofpoint reports. Everything from straightforward text- …
John Leyden, 11 Aug 2016
image by Leonardo Gonzalez http://www.shutterstock.com/gallery-650461p1.html

Hackers unleash smart Twitter phishing tool that snags two in three users

Black Hat Twitter scammers have a new weapon with the release of an effective spear phishing tool that lands a victim almost two thirds of the time, dwarfing the usual five-to-fifteen-per-cent-open-rate for spam tweets. The SNAP_R machine learning spear phishing Twitter bot is a data-driven menace unleashed at the Black Hat security …
Darren Pauli, 05 Aug 2016
Spam musubi

Facebook spam canned

Facebook is taking another shot at wiping spam and other nonsense from its news feeds. The House of Zuck says it will put new filters in place that seek out commonly used phrases in clickbait headlines – such as "You won't believe" or "What happens next will shock you" – and remove them from users' timelines. Facebook said …
Shaun Nichols, 05 Aug 2016

Ofgem sets up database so energy companies can spam Brits

The UK's energy regulator is creating a database service that farms out information on Britons' energy tariffs to rival companies for the sake of ensuring a “competitive market”. Earlier this year the Competition and Market Authority (CMA) published a mammoth 1,423-page report (PDF) followings its two-year investigation into …
Privacy

Microsoft adds new 'Enterprise Products' section to privacy policy

Microsoft has updated its privacy policy and, for the first time, added a section devoted to “Enterprise Products.” The new section is the listed last in Microsoft's privacy policy and covers “those Microsoft products and related offerings that that are offered or designed primarily for use by organizations and developers.” …
Simon Sharwood, 04 Aug 2016
An eraser

OK, we've got your data. But we really want to delete it ASAP

Storage is a big deal for IT people and beancounters alike. For the IT team the story is pretty consistent: there's never quite enough, and the users seem to eat it up and an amazing rate. For the finance team it's a seemingly endless queue of IT people asking for funds for yet more storage because the rate of growth in stored …
Dave Cartwright, 02 Aug 2016

Hybrid Cloud: The new IT service platform?

So. Hybrid cloud. Let's start with a quick definition, courtesy in this case of TechTarget which describes it as: “a cloud computing environment which uses a mixture of on-premises, private cloud and third-party, public cloud services with orchestration between the two platforms”. I like this particular definition as it sums it …
Dave Cartwright, 28 Jul 2016
a HUSKY DOG DIGS A HOLE ON THE BEACH. pHOTO BY shUTTERSTOCK

Tinder porn scam: Swipe right for NOOOOOO I paid for what?

Crooks on Tinder are using online safety as a lure to trick users into unwittingly paying for adult content. Automated spam bots masquerading as Tinder users are supposedly tricking other users of the mobile dating app into visiting a malicious third-party website to “verify their profiles”. “The spam bots instruct the user …
John Leyden, 25 Jul 2016
Cookie Monster

BBC will ‘retain your viewing history’

Last week the BBC launched a mobile app, called BBC+, delivering “customisable content collections” to your phone or tablet. It’s a personalised service which requires an email address. Last year, when the corporation announced its plans for personalised services, it made several data protection promises. Specifically, Phil …
Andrew Orlowski, 25 Jul 2016

Tupperware vehemently denies any link to storage containerisation

Lawyers for Tupperware, purveyors of the middle class plastic food containers, have written to El Reg denying it has anything to do with that nasty containerisation tech so beloved of the storage world. According to an email sent to us last week and neatly hidden from our sight by ever-vigilant spam filters, the Tupperware …
Gareth Corfield, 13 Jul 2016
China keyboard, image via Shutterstock

Maybe China's on to something: Clickbait articles now need to be 'verified' by officials

China has stepped up its online censorship efforts with a declaration that from now on all news stories will need to be "verified" for accuracy. The Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) has published new rules that say websites should not publish unverified news stories from social media outlets. "It is forbidden to use …
Kieren McCarthy, 05 Jul 2016
Illustration of a man with a beard reading a tablet

Brexit-themed spam surges

Symantec has uncovered a fivefold (392 per cent) increase in spam emails that use Brexit as a news hook. Cybercriminals have latched onto Brexit as a theme simply because it’s topical and likely to get the attention of prospective marks. These lures are ultimately geared towards tricking people into divulging sensitive …
John Leyden, 05 Jul 2016

Klepto Zepto could steal millions in looming ransomware wave

A dangerous new ransomware variant based on the Locky ransomware has security experts worried. The Zepto malware has been carried in nearly 140,000 spam messages sent over four days last week. The ransomware appears to have Locky's capabilities which could make it one of the more dangerous encryption lockers in circulation. …
Darren Pauli, 04 Jul 2016
Woman with "crying with laughter" emoji for a head... photo by Shutterstock

Here's how to SMS spam Liberal voters and get away with it

It's easy to spam voters with text messages and get away with it. If you wanted to swing voters ahead of a federal election, as the Australian Labor Party is alleged to have done in a message claiming a rival Liberal Coalition Government would privatise the nation's healthcare provider Medicare, you wouldn't send a text …
Darren Pauli, 04 Jul 2016
Value pack of two tins of Spam

Amazon slashes mobe prices to get more eyes on lockscreen ads

Amazon has slashed the cost of its mobile handsets in return for customers eyeballing more personalised spam – its latest attempt to foist more e-commerce tat on consumers. The deal is open to Amazon Prime members who will have to sign up to "personalized offers and ads displayed on the phone's lockscreen." Customers will be …
Kat Hall, 30 Jun 2016

Ransomware slams corporate Office 365 users with macro storm

It's 2016, and Microsoft Office macros are still a viable infection vector: security outfit Avanan says it's spotted a week-long, large-scale malware attack against Office 365 users. The campaign began on June 22, and Microsoft started blocking the malicious attachment on June 23. Avanan says the attackers tried to send …

T-Mobile Czech ad man steals, sells, 1.5 million customer records

A million and a half customer records have strolled out the door of T-Mobile Czech Republic in an employee's pocket. The customer service staffer attempted to sell the datasets but T-Mobile refused to reveal further detailed information, citing an ongoing police investigation. It is unknown how much of the usual name, e-mail …
Darren Pauli, 20 Jun 2016

Spam King sent down for 30 months

The self-proclaimed "Spam King," Sanford Wallace, has been given a 30-month jail sentence, a fine of hundreds of thousands of dollars, and five years' probation. The 47 year old pled guilty back in August to sending more than a half-million spam messages through Facebook in violation of a court order that prevented him from …
Kieren McCarthy, 15 Jun 2016

Clueless s’kiddies using exploit kits are behind ransomware surge

Releases of new ransomware grew 24 per cent quarter-on-quarter in Q1 2016 as relatively low-skilled criminals continued to harness exploit kits for slinging file-encrypting malware at their marks. The latest quarterly study by Intel Security also revealed that Mac OS malware grew quickly in Q1, primarily due to an increase in …
John Leyden, 14 Jun 2016
Apple Watch running MacOS 7.5.5

Apple WWDC: OS X is dead, long live macOS

Apple WWDC Apple has rolled out its plans for updating all four of its major operating systems. The 2016 Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in San Francisco saw Apple showcase updates for iOS, OS X (now macOS), watchOS and tvOS. All four of the updates are being made available to developers today, with general release builds due to …
Shaun Nichols, 13 Jun 2016

Tell us, evil phisherfolk: What's wrong with Angler Exploit Kit?

Crooks behind exploit kits have switched from using the Angler to favouring Neutrino in recent attacks. “Angler EK has almost completely disappeared,” according to Malwarebytes, a net security firm that has made a name for itself in closely tracking malicious advertising (malvertising) attacks. “We see Neutrino EK take centre …
John Leyden, 13 Jun 2016
hand with thumb up

Crysis creeps: Our ransomware locks network drives and PCs. Bargain

Cybercrooks have put together a new strain of ransomware that lifts corporate data as well as encrypting files on compromised computers. Crysis grabs admin privileges, collects the victim computer's name and some encrypted files before uploading them to a remote command and control server. The ransomware encrypts files on …
John Leyden, 10 Jun 2016
2001: A Space Odyssey

Google's machine learning app can now take over your iPhone

Google’s TensorFlow machine learning engine is now available on your iPhone and iPad. The search giant has added support for Apple’s iOS to its TensorFlow 0.9 released candidate, on GitHub. Support for iOS follows earlier backing for the framework on Google’s own Android smart phone operating system. Other changes for …
Gavin Clarke, 08 Jun 2016

'MongoDB ate my containers!'

Line Break Welcome back to The Register's weekly software bug parade, Line Break: Season Two. After a hiatus, and a vacation here or there, Line Break has been recommissioned. You can catch up on previous episodes, here. The idea is simple: if you spot buggy code in the wild that's driven you bonkers or to hysterics, drop us a line with …
Chris Williams, 08 Jun 2016

Digital ad biz is fraudulent by design, complain big brands

Global trade body the World Federation of Advertisers (WFA) has produced a useful guide to the digital ad industry's toxic sludge. The WFA represents the biggest spenders on digital advertising, such as Unilever and MasterCard, and they're not happy. Advertisers lose out from ad fraud, and firms need to clean up their own act …
Andrew Orlowski, 07 Jun 2016
Bitcoin

MtGox collapse victims now picked off by phishing vultures

Phishing scammers are going after people hoping to claw some of their money back from the MtGox collapse. Researchers with computer security biz Cyren have spotted a new round of spam messages claiming to originate from Kraken, the exchange that is heading up efforts to pay out Bitcoins recovered from the MtGox implosion. The …
Shaun Nichols, 06 Jun 2016

Two plead guilty to stealing personal information of millions

Two men have admitted to running a computer hacking and identity theft scheme which hijacked customer email accounts, stole personally identifiable information (PII) from millions of people, and generated more than $2m in illegal profits. In a press release the US Department of Justice named Tomasz Chmielarz, 33, of Rutherford …
Kat Hall, 03 Jun 2016
Mobile banking, image via Shutterstock

Flash. Bang. Wallet: Marcher crooks target UK Android users

Miscreants behind the Marcher mobile malware have begun targeting UK banking customers. The trojan - which already targets banks in other countries, including Germany, Austria, France, Australia and Turkey - has added nine major UK bank brands onto its roster, IBM's X-Force security research team warns. Marcher is an Android- …
John Leyden, 02 Jun 2016

Microsoft mops up after Outlook.com drowns in tsunami of penis pills, Russian brides etc

Microsoft's Outlook and Hotmail spam filters went off piste on Wednesday, dumping an avalanche of unwanted bumf in inboxes. The snafu was resolved by early afternoon, here in Western Europe. "Some users may be receiving excessive spam mail," read a warning that briefly popped up on Microsoft's Outlook.com service status page …
John Leyden, 01 Jun 2016
Venomous snake

Thai bloke battles jumbo python in toilet todger thriller

A Thai chap's "morning routine of a shower and protracted bowel movement" was rudely interrupted earlier this week when a 4-metre python clamped its laughing gear round his todger as he squatted over the throne. According to an eye-watering report by Khaosod English - (some pics quite possibly NSFW) - Atthaporn Boonmakchuay of …
Lester Haines, 25 May 2016

Password reuse bot steals creds from weak sites, logs in to banks

The perils of password re-use have been laid bare with the discovery of a botnet dedicated to finding account credentials on websites and testing the logins it finds on banks. The work is clever since it avoids tripping botnet detection and brute force rate limiters in place at most security-savvy banks, but absent across the …
Darren Pauli, 24 May 2016
Microsoft Clippy

You wanted innovation? We gave you Clippy the Paperclip in your IM client

Comment Look no further for proof that Silicon Valley is now running on its own exhaust fumes than the latest hype: The War of the Clippys. A decade after Microsoft banished its helpful cartoon “Assistant” Clippy from Microsoft Office, Clippys are popping up everywhere, like a plague of rodents. Don’t laugh: Clippy is now a “platform …
Andrew Orlowski, 19 May 2016
Afraid of the dark, image via Shutterstock

Dark net LinkedIn sale looks like the real deal

A hacker is attempting to sell 117 million LinkedIn users' emails and passwords on the dark web. The black hat "Peace" claims the data is the fruits of a well publicized LinkedIn breach from 2012. At the time, only around 6.5 million encrypted passwords were posted online. The business-focused social network LinkedIn never …
John Leyden, 18 May 2016
Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, aged 81, of the United Kingdom. Photo taken during a visit in NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. Greenbelt, Maryland, USA

Queen's Speech: Ministers, release the spaceplanes!*

Promises on broadband make up the mainstay of a new Digital Bill, first revealed at The Register back in January and formally revealed in the Queen’s Speech today. It’s one of 21 new legislative proposals. The speech reiterated plans to create the right for every household to access high speed broadband. The plans for a …
Team Register, 18 May 2016
Wall of Spam. Pic: freezelight

Sainsbury’s Bank insurance spam scam causes confusion

Numerous UK surfers were left confused on Monday after receiving email confirmations for insurance products with Sainsbury’s Bank that they never bought. People are receiving emails claiming they have started new policies for travel, home and car insurance from the UK supermarket giant’s banking business. El Reg learnt of the …
John Leyden, 17 May 2016
Vikings. Credit: History Channel.

Malicious Android apps slip into Google Play, top third party charts

Malicious Android applications have bypassed Google's Play store security checks to enslave infected devices into distributed denial of service attack, advertising fraud, and spam botnets. The apps are legitimate games that in some stores outside of Google Play have made it to highly-contested top free games charts. …
Darren Pauli, 17 May 2016

Nuisance caller fined a quarter of a million pounds by the ICO

A claims spam company from Blackburn has been fined £250,000 by the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) after making over 17.5 million nuisance calls. Check Point Claims had harassed people illegally with automated calls encouraging them to claim compensation for job-related hearing loss. The ICO launched its …