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Intelligence Briefings from the War on Spam

Archive for the ‘Cyber Security’ Category

Defcon 2014: Blackphone Beefs Up Android Security


Sunday, August 10, 2014 by Andrew Conway

The vendor area at Black Hat goes by the name of The Business Hall, and that sums it up. It is full of security companies, large and small, pitching their products in typical trade show fashion. The vendor area at Defcon is not like that. It is a jumble of vendors selling hacker equipment, lock […]

Black Hat 2014: Chip and PIN is not Hacker Proof


Friday, August 08, 2014 by Andrew Conway

Today we saw a mobile point of sale device (MPOS) compromised by a malicious credit card. Yes, I did get that the right way round. In a wonderful through-the-looking-glass exploit, Jon Butler and Nils (who like many hackers has no last name) demonstrated how the chip on a chip and PIN credit card could be […]

Black Hat 2014: Why I Hate Free Stuff


Thursday, August 07, 2014 by Andrew Conway

I was watching an excellent presentation by Rob Ragan and Oscar Salazar when I realized that I hate free stuff. Not of course the free stuff that I use, I’m fine with that. It’s all the free stuff that spammers and other cyber criminals exploit that ticks me off. Let me explain what Ragan and […]

Black Hat 2014: Russian Spammers Compromise 420,000 Websites


Wednesday, August 06, 2014 by Andrew Conway

Just in time for the Black Hat convention, the New York Times is reporting the discovery by Hold Security that a team of Russian Hackers have collected a total of 1.2 billion user names and passwords from 420,000 different websites, along with 542 million email addresses. Although this dwarfs the Target breach in sheer volume, […]

Apple SMS phishing and the iCloud


Tuesday, July 22, 2014 by Andrew Conway

Just last night, I upgraded my Mac Air to the latest release of OSX. The upgrade did not go as smoothly as most. When rebooting, my computer hung for a couple of hours with the screen saying Restarting . When I finally got bored with this and held down the power key for a hard […]

As Predicted, Ransomware is the Latest Mobile Threat


Wednesday, June 18, 2014 by Andrew Conway

Another one of Cloudmark’s predictions for 2014 has proved to be correct. Last December our CTO Neil Cook wrote: Malware has also kept up a steady migration to the mobile space with ransomware set to be a logical next step in future. In its simplest form, ransomware could simply copy sensitive information from the phone […]

Anti-Virus the Cloudmark way


Monday, May 12, 2014 by Andrew Conway

Symantec is now admitting that traditional anti-virus solutions are losing the war against computer malware, according to a recent article in the Wall Street Journal. “Antivirus is dead,” says Brian Dye, Symantec’s senior vice president for information security. . . . hackers increasingly use novel bugs. Mr. Dye estimates antivirus now catches just 45% of […]

Malware spreading by fake Amazon notifications


Friday, May 02, 2014 by Andrew Conway

We’ve recently seen a return of email spam campaign featuring fake Amazon.com notifications. This appeared in the Holiday shopping season last year coming from disposable domains, and is now back, apparently coming from compromised domains in the UK. Here’s an example: Of course, the attachment contains a malicious trojan that allows remote access to Windows […]

Twenty Years of Spam


Friday, April 11, 2014 by Andrew Conway

April 12th is the 20th anniversary of the first large scale commercial spam – the infamous “Green Card Lawyers” message that was posted to every newsgroup on Usenet News (right). Though there were attempts at spamming starting as early as 1978, they went out to hundreds of users rather than the hundreds of thousands that […]

The Authentication Arms Race


Wednesday, December 18, 2013 by Andrew Conway

At Cloudmark, we have long recognized that we are in an arms race against the spammers. Spammers are continually trying to come up with new techniques for getting through our spam filters, and we are constantly monitoring their activities and staying one step ahead. It seems that the same thing is now happening in the […]


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