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Intelligence Briefings from the War on Spam

Archive for the ‘Cyber Security’ Category

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 […]

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 […]


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