Posts Categorized: spam


New Year’s Drive-By Brings a Recursive Rogue

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On the morning of January 2nd, still bleary eyed, I checked my email to find a charming notification informing me that I’d received an electronic greeting card. Yay! I thought to myself: The first targeted malware of 2011 plopped right into my lap. I immediately pulled up my research machine, browsed to the URL in the message (don’t try this at home, kids), and found my test system swamped in malware. After classifying the files and their source URLs into our definitions — I didn’t want this to happen to you, after all — I turned the computer back off […]

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10 Threats from 2010 We’d Prefer Remain History

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With 2010 finally behind us, and an unknown number of cyberattacks likely to come in the new year, I thought I’d run down a brief list of the malicious campaigns criminals pulled off last year that I’d really dread to see anyone repeat. Now that they’re in the past, they should stay there. Operation Aurora: Google’s accusation (with Adobe, Juniper Networks, Rackspace, Yahoo! and Symantec) that China hacked its servers, allegedly stealing private emails stored on the company’s servers. The big surprise wasn’t that it was happening, but that companies were publicly talking about it. Abused ccTLDs: 2010 saw lots […]

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Rogue AV Spam Invades Multiply, Yahoo Mail

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While nowhere near the size of the mammoth Facebook, the social network Multiply is no slouch. Based in Boca Raton, Florida, the site is designed around not only sharing photos and videos with friends and family, but also a relatively novel concept called social shopping, which permits users of the site to shop together in a virtual marketplace, or even set up an Internet storefront. At last count, according to Multiply’s blog, the site has over 12 million users, which means that the Multiply Market may be one of the largest single shopping Web sites in Southeast Asia, where most […]

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Malware Threats: What Would Churchill Do?

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By Ian Moyse, EMEA Channel Director With Christmas fast approaching, (lest we forget the shops have kindly put all the Christmas goods out in September and early October again!) we can expect online attacks to increase as per their normal schedules, ramping up through the end of the year. With apologies to Sir Winston Churchill, never in the field of Internet conflict was so much harm done to so many by so few. For all the benefits the Internet provides our lives, no single technology has given so few criminals the ability to cheaply and easily target the many. We’ve […]

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Hey Malware Guy: Just What the Heck Am I Supposed to Do With This?

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The Tacticlol downloader, responsible for a lot of infections over the past year, propagates in two ways: via drive-by downloads, and as a .zip archive attached to messages. Maybe the spam filtering companies finally caught on to the trick, or maybe the Tacticlol distributors are just trying to mix it up, but the latest sample to come over the transom has me scratching my head. Like most others, this sample came attached to an email made to look like a message that UPS would never send. Once again, the message tries to convince the recipient that the attached file is […]

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Your Federal Tax Payment Has Not Been Rejected

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It’s been more than a week since we started seeing spam email, supposedly sent by the EFTPS (Electronic Federal Tax Payment System, a division of the US Department of the Treasury), informing recipients in dire, bolded text that Your Federal Tax Payment ID: 01037513 has been rejected. I had hoped it would be a faded memory by now, but apparently it just won’t die. Spam, ladies and gentlemen. It’s a lie, cooked up in a criminal’s troubled mind, with the goal of convincing signficant numbers of people to click a link in the message. It’s a pretty contrived message, which […]

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Five Reasons You Should Always “Stop. Think. Connect.”

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Today’s the official kickoff for National Cyber Security Awareness Month, and the organizations supporting the event, including the National Cyber Security Alliance, the Anti-Phishing Working Group, and dozens of corporate citizens including Webroot, want you to protect your computer and your personal information. So they’ve come up with a three word campaign slogan they hope will become conventional wisdom for every Internet user: Stop. Think. Connect. Think of it as the 21st century equivalent of looking both ways before crossing the street. In my case, they’re preaching to the choir. For years, I’ve advocated that people treat everything they see […]

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Newsflash: HTML Spammers are Not So Bright

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It’s been more than a week that we at Webroot, and countless others, have been getting floods of bogus messages with HTML attachments. I thought I’d give the curious readers of this blog a quick glance at one of the drive-by sites that load in the browser if you try to open the file. As I’d mentioned previously, the HTML files themselves simply contain highly obfuscated Javascript (code that’s hard for humans to read but easy for machines to interpret). When you try to load those malicious scripts into a browser, the script instructs the browser to load a page […]

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Malicious HTML Mail Attachments Flood Inboxes

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If you hadn’t already noticed, an ongoing spam campaign where someone is sending email messages with attached HTML files continues to be a problem. The current campaign appears to be a new wave of spam similar to the one I reported about in July. The messages, which began arriving a week ago, have subject lines pulled from news headlines (“Cops kill shooter at Johns Hopkins Hospital,” “America’s Got Talent Judges Were They Shocked,” “Daniel Covington”) and with a financial angle (“Apartment for rent,” “Invoice for Floor replacement,” “credit card,” and the ever-popular “Shipping Notification”). The messages themselves are brief, such […]

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Epic Malware Dropper Makes No Attempt to Hide

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In the world of first-person shooter games, getting the most headshots – hits on the opponent which instantly take the opponent’s avatar out of the game — is a prized goal. The headshot is the quickest way to dispatch a foe in virtually every shooter, which is why the file name of a malware sample, currently in circulation, stood out. The file, yogetheadshot.php.exe (VT), is a dropper, a glorified bucket designed to tip over and spill other malware all over a PC. But where other droppers might leave behind a handful of payloads, this one utterly decimated a testbed PC […]

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