Articles about Spam

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 …

Cloud security 101: Get a little more intimate with your provider

You can get many different services in the cloud these days, and cyber security is among them. These days, cloud service providers will take care of everything from email scanning through to watching where your employees surf (and stopping them from going there, if necessary). Most of them claim to do a better job than the …
Danny Bradbury, 16 May 2016

Aussie wedges spam javelin in ring spanner

An Australian man whose penis somehow became lodged in a ring spanner earlier this week was freed in the traditional manner - by a fire crew bearing an angle grinder. According to this local report, "firies" were called to a hospital in the New South Wales city of Tweed Heads on Monday to perform what for them is apparently …
Lester Haines, 13 May 2016
2001: A Space Odyssey

Lie back and think of cybersecurity: IBM lets students loose on Watson

IBM is teaming up with eight North American universities to further tune its cognitive system to tackle cybersecurity problems. Watson for Cyber Security, a platform already in pre-beta, will be further trained in “learning the nuances of security research findings and discovering patterns and evidence of hidden cyber attacks …
John Leyden, 12 May 2016

Brexit campaign group fined £50k for sending half a million spam texts

Pro-Brexit group Leave.EU has been fined £50,000 for sending up to 500,000 unsolicited text messages urging people to support its campaign, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) said today. The group, registered as Better for the Country Ltd and funded by millionaire UKIP donor Arron Banks, broke the law by not having …
Man in a suit drinking tea out doors reading from his tablet

Twitter block Oz Greens talk

Trying to end a case of hashtag spam, Twitter instead briefly censored political discussion in Australia. Political enthusiasts had started using the #Greens16 hashtag to discuss the Australian Greens in the context of Australia's 2016 election campaign. The trouble started when some idiot in charge of herding porn-bots …
Baby looks taken aback/shocked/affronted. Photo by Shutterstock

Suck on this: White hats replace Locky malware payload with dummy

Pranksters have infiltrated the control system behind the infamous Locky ransomware and replaced the malware’s main payload with a dummy file. Locky normally spreads using malicious and disguised JavaScript inside email attachments supposedly containing an invoice or similar. Malicious messages are sent to prospective marks in …
John Leyden, 05 May 2016

LG: Stop focusing on Apple and Samsung. There's us. And our G5. Look at it. Look at it

Review Every year LG threatens to steal the flagship crown, but the press pauses briefly only on the device before returning to speculating about Samsung and Apple. LG’s flagships have featured ground-breaking screens (Quad HD), unusual banana shaped glass and consistently good imaging. But still no breakthrough. No wonder LG got fed …
Andrew Orlowski, 26 Apr 2016

Net scum lock ancient Androids, force users to buy iTunes gift cards

Blue Coat researcher Andrew Brandt says ancient Androids can be hijacked with persistent ads that force victims to buy US$200 worth of iTunes gift cards. Brandt considers the spam as ransomware since it traps infected Androids in a locked screen state until victims buy attackers gift cards which would presumably be later …
Darren Pauli, 26 Apr 2016
Angry man yelling on phone while reading vintage printer paper report. Photo by SHutterstock

What a difference a year makes: ICO tele-spam fines break £2m barrier

The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) has issued £2m in fines since a change in the law allowing it to crack down on nuisance marketing, an increase of more than 565 per cent on the preceding 12 months. As the law stands, companies intending to make marketing phone calls without prior permission must first check the …
Google UK office logos

Google unleashes TensorFlow 0.8 for your distributed machine learning needs

Version 0.8 of Google's open source machine learning library, TensorFlow, has been released, adding support for distributed computing so you can get your whole Beowulf cluster infected with its Skynet. TensorFlow is an open source software library for numerical computation using data flow graphs, and was released under the …
Man with head in the cloud

Symantec.cloud portal limps back online after day-long TITSUP

Symantec.cloud’s portal is back online following a day-long outage. However, sysadmins report a continuing inability to perform basic functions such as adding new email accounts for new starters at the corporate firms they manage. Problems with the system followed a database crash on Monday morning that dragged on until …
John Leyden, 13 Apr 2016
Zuckerberg

Zuck: You're still using non-Facebook websites ... I'll put an end to that

At the opening keynote of the Facebook F8 developer conference, Mark Zuckerberg has outlined his company's plan to get everyone online and hooked on Facebook within the next decade. "Instead of building walls we can help people build bridges, instead of dividing people we can bring people together – one connection at a time, …
Iain Thomson, 12 Apr 2016

Costa Rica launches investigation after reports hackers ‘rigged’ 2014 election

Costa Rica is to investigate whether hackers interfered with its 2014 elections. The investigation comes days after jailed hacker Andres Sepulveda claimed he had used black propaganda and other tactics in order to influence many electoral contests across Latin America over a run of eight years for 2005 until 2013. Sepulveda …
John Leyden, 08 Apr 2016
No junk mail. Pic: gajman, Flickr

Mumblehard spam-spewing botnet floored

Security researchers have teamed up with authorities in Ukraine to take down a spam-spewing Linux-infesting botnet. Security firm ESET teamed up with CyS-CERT and the Cyber Police of Ukraine to take down the Mumblehard botnet. A year ago, ESET analyzed the Mumblehard botnet, which was made up of thousands of infected Linux …
John Leyden, 07 Apr 2016
Internet email sign. Pic: @mattw1lson, Twitter

US government updates secure email guide for first time in a decade

The US government's technology agency has updated its secure email guide for the first time in a decade and put it out for a month of public comment. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) guide [PDF] is 81 pages long and provides a surprisingly useful rundown on what to do to get your email secure. Its top …
Kieren McCarthy, 01 Apr 2016

Cunning scam: Mobe app stalks victims then emails booby-trapped bogus speeding tickets

Here's a smart scam that's cropped up on the US East Coast. It appears people have installed a free smartphone app – quite possibly a traffic monitoring tool – that keeps an eye on their whereabouts, and then emails them fake speeding tickets. Victims are tricked into thinking the messages are legit and have come from the cops …
Shaun Nichols, 28 Mar 2016
wham_bang by Roy Lichtenstein

Cyberthreat: How to respond...and when

Spotting threats in cyberspace is like star gazing. There are lots of them out there, but telling them apart and working out which ones are about to go supernova takes experience and skill. You don’t want to pour the same resource into protecting yourself against every single perceived threat, because no budget can support …
Danny Bradbury, 23 Mar 2016

German lodges todger in 13 steel rings

A Munich man has set what may prove an unassailable record for the number of steel rings lodged on a penis after presenting himself at a local hospital with no less than 13 engorgement aids encircling his swollen member. Die Welt explains that the unnamed 52-year-old had endured four days of entrapment when he rolled up at …
Lester Haines, 10 Mar 2016
Wall of Spam. Pic: freezelight

State should run power firm spam database, says... competition watchdog

The UK’s competition regulator wants to see a new database of utility customers set up so they can be bombarded with “targeted marketing”. The Competition and Markets Authority wants the personal data of energy customers who fail to switch from the default tariff for three years – what the CMA calls “Disengaged Domestic …
Andrew Orlowski, 10 Mar 2016

Zynga CEO resigns – again – after terrible results

The CEO of mobile games company Zynga, Mark Pincus, has resigned – a second time – following bad results. The decision to replace Pincus with a veteran games industry exec is Groundhog Day for the troubled company after it did exactly the same thing in 2013. Back then, Pincus was replaced with former Electronic Arts exec Don …
Kieren McCarthy, 02 Mar 2016