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Security Response

.club gTLD Used in Hit-and-Run Spam Attacks

Spammers have been abusing generic top-level domains, released by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers earlier this year, in hit-and-run spam attacks.
Created: 12 Jun 2014 21:23:05 GMT
Sammy Chu's picture
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The Symantec Global Intelligence network has detected a significant increase in hit-and-run spam attacks (sometimes referred to as ‘snowshoe’ spam attacks) from .club domains in the last 24 hours. Earlier this year the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) released a number of generic top-level domains (gTLD), with .club among them. Spammers have taken to abusing gTLDs, and specifically, the .club gTLD to perform hit-and-run spam attacks. Hit-and-run spam attacks quickly cycle through domains and IP addresses with unknown reputation to avoid detection. In this case they are using domains with the .club gTLD because of their lack of reputation.

We have observed the following “From:” header lines in these attacks:

  • From: "CarClearanceLot" <CarClearanceLot@[REMOVED].club>
  • From: "CarSavingsEvents" <CarSavingsEvents@[REMOVED].club>
  • From: "PriceNewCar" <PriceNewCar@[REMOVED].club>
  • From: Gift Cards <party@[REMOVED].club>
  • From: [REMOVED] deal <Urick@[REMOVED].club>

 

club domain 1 edit 3.jpg

Figure. .club domain hit-and-run spam email example

Symantec is in contact with the administrators of the .club gTLD and we will work together to shut down any spam domains within the .club zone.  

We will continue to monitor this type of hit-and-run spam attack and create additional filters to protect our customers.

Symantec advises users to be on their guard and to adhere to the following security best practices:

  • Exercise caution when sharing your email address with websites
  • Exercise caution when receiving unsolicited, unexpected, or suspicious emails
  • Avoid clicking on links in unsolicited, unexpected, or suspicious emails
  • Avoid opening attachments in unsolicited, unexpected, or suspicious emails
  • Avoid responding to spam emails
  • Keep security software up-to-date
  • Update antispam signatures regularly