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Spammers 'Gearing Up' Botnets For Holiday Rush

CmdrTaco posted about 4 years ago | from the black-friday-is-gonna-suck dept.

Security 30

chicksdaddy writes "Spam — there's less of it, but it's much nastier, according to the latest statistics from Google's Postini e-mail security service. According to a post on Google's Enterprise blog, the viral content of spam e-mail (both malicious links and attachments) was up 111% from the same quarter in 2009, even as spam volume overall dropped 24%. The Summertime malware push may be evidence of a push to pump up bot networks in advance of the busy holiday online shopping season, according to Google researchers."

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what holiday ? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33948238)

and what is this Fall? something you do when you trip ?
or is this an "American" holiday botnet story ?

Re:what holiday ? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33948404)

and what is this Fall? something you do when you trip ?
or is this an "American" holiday botnet story ?

Excuse me, sir. Why do you put American in quotes? Are you implying that we are not really here, nor truly American?

Re:what holiday ? (3, Funny)

Abstrackt (609015) | about 4 years ago | (#33948464)

or is this an "American" holiday botnet story ?

Yes, probably. Slashdot is American so it stands to reason that there would be an American bias.

American Thanksgiving is next month and it's about as big as Christmas down there. After that, you have Black Friday [wikipedia.org] . A Wal-Mart employee got trampled by frenzied deal-seekers on Black Friday in 2008 so I think it's safe to count it as part of the holiday rush. After that, Christmas is only a hop, skip and a jump away. Soon people will be filling the malls looking for cheap crap to put under their trees. Sears has already started mailing their catalogs so I'm not surprised spammers are already ramping things up too. Nothing says "merry Christmas" like v1agra, I guess.

Re:what holiday ? (1)

InsertWittyNameHere (1438813) | about 4 years ago | (#33948688)

you have Black Friday [wikipedia.org] . A Wal-Mart employee got trampled by frenzied deal-seekers on Black Friday in 2008 so I think it's safe to count it as part of the holiday rush.

It's more of a holiday raid or a Wal-Mart crawl . Gotta got the leet loot!

Re:what holiday ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33949974)

American... Interesting term.

America does not actually mean the U.S.A. Just the general laziness of the populace has shortened it from United States of America, to America.

Please note that the entire western hemisphere (north and south) is America. South America, Middle America and North America. By saying you're 'American', it means you're from the western hemisphere of the planet, not the U.S.A.

So American in quotes is just fine. When someone tells me their from America, I ask them if they're from South America, Middle America, or North America. The majority of those that are from the U.S., seem to get confused and do not understand that the U.S.A. is part of America, not the entire thing.

If you ever need a laugh, watch Rick Mercer's talking to Americans. And he doesn't just talk to a bunch of uneducated yokels, either.

Re:what holiday ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33948580)

RTFM [slashdot.org]

Slashdot is U.S.-centric. We readily admit this, and really don't see it as a problem. Slashdot is run by Americans, after all, and the vast majority of our readership is in the U.S.

Most spam actually in January (0, Offtopic)

DriedClexler (814907) | about 4 years ago | (#33948254)

I get most spam in January, when some group sends me snail telling me I have to give them lots of my money, and then this is followed up by emails from special "services" that tell me they can help pay the extortion for only $49.99 or some bullshit.

Re:Most spam actually in January (1)

halber_mensch (851834) | about 4 years ago | (#33949098)

I get most spam in January, when some group sends me snail telling me I have to give them lots of my money, and then this is followed up by emails from special "services" that tell me they can help pay the extortion for only $49.99 or some bullshit.

Snarky tax humor never gets old, does it?

When will people learn? (3, Insightful)

Pojut (1027544) | about 4 years ago | (#33948274)

Spammers wouldn't exist if people didn't fall for their trickery. Not necessarily trying to play "blame the victim", but spam wouldn't exist if people take a few seconds and actually think things through.

Just saying.

Re:When will people learn? (4, Insightful)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | about 4 years ago | (#33948344)

Oh it's no more their fault than it is anyone else's.

We're always going on about how they need to install a good antivirus and get their system checked out - so when the popup offers them a good antivirus and its "checking their system out" for free - of course they're going to click.

Re:When will people learn? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33949324)

The answer is: never. They never will.

PC viruses have been around since at least the early 1980's, and quite probably even the 70's, and people are *still* installing them in 2010 because they want to see the cute dancing bear or see what's in "hot_naked_chicks.jpg.exe".

If, in 30+ years people haven't learned that these things are a bad idea, they're never going to. Ever.

I agree with you, it wouldn't be a problem if people engaged more than 4 of their neurons towards the end of not propagating spam and viruses, but the simple reality is that they aren't going to.

Re:When will people learn? (2, Interesting)

maxume (22995) | about 4 years ago | (#33949456)

Are you sure it is the recipients that are falling for the trickery?

I don't have anything to back it up, but I think the people purchasing spamming services are now the ones driving much of it.

Re:When will people learn? (2, Insightful)

shentino (1139071) | about 4 years ago | (#33949778)

Blaming the victim still doesn't let the spammers off the hook though.

They're still responsible for giving the intertubes stress, hijacking people's computers, etc etc etc.

And they did have enough electronic firepower to totally obliterate Blue Security.

Re:When will people learn? (1)

Rick17JJ (744063) | about 4 years ago | (#33950158)

Much of the spam I get is just one short sentence, followed by a link to a URL in Russia or somewhere. Are there actually people out there who would trust their charge card numbers or personal information to a website that does not look like a reputable company? The fact that such spam keeps getting sent out suggests that there must be enough responses to make it worthwhile.

In the past, I used to get spam which appeared to be from a well know URL, but when I would hover the cursor over the link without clicking, a much more complicated URL from a foreign country would be shown at the bottom of the screen.

The title of the email message is usually something like "Power in your pants" or "Hot chick visits senile grandpa." The short sentence in the email message is usually something like "Girls will go wild when they see your magnificent device."

Of course, some spam does try harder to look legitimate, such as the phishing messages claiming to be from PayPal, Amazon.com, or my bank. If the spam was using friend or relative's email address, I could see where that would also fool someone. The fake on-line virus scanning advertisements also do a reasonably good job of looking legitimate.

The possibility of getting viruses or malware in my email, is one reason that I am glad that I check my email from a Linux computer. I do also have a Windows computer, but I never check my email from the Windows computer.

When browsing the Internet with Firefox on either computer, I have installed the NoScript plug-in. I only enable the running of scripts on websites which I trust or where where enabling scripting is necessary.

Re:When will people learn? (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | about 4 years ago | (#33951896)

Much of the spam I get is just one short sentence, followed by a link to a URL in Russia or somewhere. Are there actually people out there who would trust their charge card numbers or personal information to a website that does not look like a reputable company? The fact that such spam keeps getting sent out suggests that there must be enough responses to make it worthwhile.

Probably not, actually. Just that some idiot with money asked about marketing services, handed over the cash, and walked away. I think the actual proportion of spam that sells stuff is quite low (only so many people can pay for a service that doesn't quite generate any revenue), but spam is now used as a way to distribute the more lucrative products - botnet bots, keyloggers, and other stuff. It's a bit more indirect, but far easier way to grab stuff like credit cards and other things that one could use to get money.

Even those websites are probably nothing more than drive-by download sites for bots.

Re:When will people learn? (1)

Kilrah_il (1692978) | about 4 years ago | (#33958126)

A friend of mine sent me an e-mail a few days ago that October is a very special month since it has 5 Fridays, 5 Saturdays and 5 Sundays. It happens once in 875 years. If I send the mail to 8 people I will be rich, Rich, RICH!
Do you think I didn't try to explain her that every time you have a month with 31 days that starts on Friday, this shit happens? Don't you think I went to the calendar and showed her 3 times in the last 4 years where it happened?
Do you think it changed anything?
People have always and will always eat the bullshit they are given if it wrapped nicely in cellophane. Spam, sadly, included.

Just saying.

Optimistic much? (1)

infinite9 (319274) | about 4 years ago | (#33948310)

... busy holiday ... shopping season

I seriously doubt this holiday shopping season will be "busy".

Re:Optimistic much? (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | about 4 years ago | (#33948380)

...Why do you doubt that?

I feel like I'm stumbling inside my head as I'm trying to figure out why you wouldn't think this holidy shopping season will be busy. It's been busy every year for as long as I can remember, why wouldn't this year be?

Re:Optimistic much? (1)

Cwix (1671282) | about 4 years ago | (#33948732)

I think hes implying the recession is going to hurt sales. It might not be quite as busy as it has in the past, but ive no doubt in my mind that it will still be a busy season.

Re:Optimistic much? (1)

twidarkling (1537077) | about 4 years ago | (#33949248)

Ever worked retail? It's *always* busy, no matter what, during the "holiday shopping season." Psychology alone ensures it, but throw societal and marketing issues on top, and it pretty much would take the apocalypse for it to not be busy.

Who would've thought... (1)

Trip6 (1184883) | about 4 years ago | (#33948414)

...that spam was cyclical?

All I want... (4, Funny)

drcheap (1897540) | about 4 years ago | (#33948518)

All I want for Christmas
is my own bot net
my own bot net
see my own bot net.

FAILZORs.. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33948678)

Social Darwinism at work (1)

digitaldc (879047) | about 4 years ago | (#33948930)

"Celebrity gossip - including false alerts about the untimely deaths of high profile celebrities - is a common lure to get e-mail recipients to open malicious e-mail attachments."

So the primary targets are those who actually care about cult of celebrity and those who never read anything about protecting yourself online, interesting.

Re:Social Darwinism at work (1)

Tapewolf (1639955) | about 4 years ago | (#33949564)

So the primary targets are those who actually care about cult of celebrity and those who never read anything about protecting yourself online, interesting.

I don't know about you, but I was fascinated to learn that Johnny Depp, Brad Pitt, Tiger Woods, Tom Cruise, Bon Jovi and a numerous other such people had all died on the exact same day in some bizarre celebrity massacre.

(And no, I didn't open any of them.)

Only 16 comments 90 minutes in = solved? (0, Redundant)

xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) | about 4 years ago | (#33949296)

2002 called - it wants its "help me deal with spam" article back.

With only 16 comments in 90 minutes my thought is that your average Slashdot reader already has his/her spam problem solved. It's really a non-issue for most of us; let's get some real news for nerds here instead please.

FailZors (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33949336)

11/9 (1)

gmuslera (3436) | about 4 years ago | (#33949604)

Will be needed a major cyberterrorist attack till someone goes after the companies behind spam? Put all that are promoted thu spam in guantanamo (and the people they hired to do the spam) and people will start to think twice before going even close to that route. And that will kill most of the economical motivations of those botnets.

Re:11/9 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33953800)

Most spammers live in Russia or other places where the writs of US and Euro law don't apply. (You hadn't noticed the abominable spelling and grammar used in the vast majority of spam?) These aren't people whom our laws can touch. It would require the military - and attacking sites inside Russia would be...um...ill-advised.

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