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Intelligence Briefings from the War on Spam

Archive for the ‘Cyber Security’ Category

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 […]

Update on Hacked Web Servers


Tuesday, August 20, 2013 by Andrew Conway

Just when the plague of hacked web servers seemed to be dying down a little, we hear of a new exploit for Joomla. While we haven’t seen this exploit being used by spammers yet, it will likely turn up in coming weeks. In the meantime, there are already two easy exploits in Joomla 1.5 that […]

Mobile Banking and the Threat of SMS Spam


Thursday, August 15, 2013 by Andrew Conway

A recent report from Pew claims that 51% of all US adults bank online, and 32% of all US adults use their phone for banking. These numbers are growing all the time. The days of waiting in line for a bank teller are long gone. Now that your mobile phone can even be used to […]

Black Hat: DDoS and Free Speech


Friday, August 02, 2013 by Andrew Conway

One of those moments at Black Hat. Brian Krebs (left) had given a presentation on DDoS services, in which he criticized the DDoS protection service Cloudflare for providing DDoS protection to the web sites where you can purchase those services. Krebs complained this was a conflict of interest. During the Q&A session, Cloudflare CEO Matthew […]

New SIM Card Vulnerability Opens Possibility for Surveillance and Fraud


Tuesday, July 23, 2013 by Andrew Conway

Security researcher Karsten Nohl of Security Research Labs in Germany recently announced a new vulnerability in older SIM cards. This allows a hacker to take over your phone to listen in on your phone calls or send SMS messages to premium rate numbers. The attacker sends an invalid binary SMS message to the phone, and […]

How to stop spammers mining your Facebook profile


Tuesday, June 25, 2013 by Andrew Conway

Techcrunch reported this week that an app developer had downloaded thousands of phone numbers from active Facebook accounts. ┬áThis technique has been around for a while and Cloudmark has seen it used by spammers to harvest email addresses and phone numbers, and to make both email and SMS spam more personal and more convincing. The […]

Money Mules and Honey Mules


Thursday, May 16, 2013 by Andrew Conway

One common form of spam that we see across all sorts of platforms is work from home scams. As well as traditional email, this can also be found on most social networks, and more recently in SMS. She made it big doing this from her home. Check it out www.[redacted].com The spammers often link to […]

WordPress and Joomla vulnerabilities increasingly exploited by spammers


Monday, January 14, 2013 by Andrew Conway

Early last year I wrote about the increasing amount of spam that was using hacked web servers to obfuscate the spammer’s call to action. Back then the volume was creeping up to 1% of all spam. Since we’ve been seeing even more of it lately, I decided to take a look at the figures and […]

Ringing the Bell for Cyber Security Awareness


Tuesday, October 16, 2012 by Mary Landesman

October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month. In recognition of that, the National Cyber Security Alliance teamed up with the Department of Homeland Security and the security industry to sponsor the opening bell ceremony at NASDAQ. Held at 4 Times Square on Monday, October 15, the principal bell ringer was Jane Holl Lute, Deputy Secretary […]


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