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Security Response

November State of Spam Report

Created: 07 Nov 2007 08:00:00 GMT • Updated: 23 Jan 2014 18:44:51 GMT
Kelly Conley's picture
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Presidential spam? Yes, we have seen it. Asthe race to the Whitehouse builds momentum, one spammer is out thereendorsing his favorite candidate. While there is no evidence that thespam for this particular candidate originates with the candidatehimself, we believe this may be an interesting view into what politicalspam may look like over the course of the next year as the UnitedStates Presidential elections draw nearer. Please have a look at theNovember State of Spam Report to view samples of this type of spam.

A new tactic during the month of October was the inclusion of MP3files to promote pump and dump stock spam. This variation of theclassic pump-and-dump stock is just the most recent technique beingutilized to market these stocks to the masses. A blog was createdearlier in the month regarding this novel type spam attack and can beread here.The proliferation of pump-and-dump stocks over the course of the yearhas been interesting as spammers have tried their hand at varioustechniques to avoid filtering of their messages. In the November State of Spam Report we illustrate the various techniques spammers have used over the course of the past year to promote these penny stocks.

Towards the end of October, Symantec observed a trend where spammerswere using Google’s advanced search operators to direct end users to aparticular spam URL. What first appears to be a Google search resultslink is really a link redirecting to a spam site. In one particularcase the link redirects to a site selling replica watches and jewelry.To read about how the spammer accomplished this trick you can read theblog that was posted on it here.

The November State of Spam report includes other interesting spam seen during the month such as:
• Spammers saving the planet from global warming; this appears to be aspammer’s attempt to collect personal information that could be usedlater for scam attacks.
• Halloween themed spam; this also appears to be an attempt to collect personal information for later use
• Spammers still targeting foreclosures and hawking refinancing deals.
• Pharmaceutical spam in Spanish; this is a Spanish version of commonmale enhancement spam; however, the delivery varies slightly from whatis commonly seen in English
• Russian bride spam; while dating spam is nothing new we illustrateone particular attack and the variations it has gone through.

Also included in the November State of Spam Reportis a regional highlight on APJ. This highlight covers percentage ofcategories of spam seen by Symantec as well as some examples of commonspam seen in the region.