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Intelligence Briefings from the War on Spam

Archive for the ‘Mobile’ 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 […]

Spammers Tap Regional Operators to Send SMS Spam from U.S. To Malaysia and Mexico


Thursday, March 27, 2014 by Jason

Cloudmark has observed that in some cases different categories of SMS spammers target different types of US Regional Mobile Operators, also known as tier 2 or tier 3 operators. Mobile operators are divided into different tiers depending on whether they fully own the network that they use to deliver voice and data services (tier 1), […]

Go Phish, for Bank Cards


Tuesday, February 25, 2014 by Tom Landesman

With the New Year, it appears SMS scammers in the U.S. have taken a renewed interest in bank and account phishing mobile users. In January alone, more than half of all SMS spam reported via the GSMA Spam Reporting Service within the US were phishing attempts. From targeting prepaid debit cards for Child Support Recipients […]

SMS Phishers Exploit Twilio and ow.ly to Steal Mobile Account Logins


Thursday, February 13, 2014 by Mike Acar

Via the GSMA Spam Reporting Service, we’ve been receiving reports of an SMS phishing attack aimed at the customers of several large mobile providers in the US. And in an unusual twist, the phishers are trying to evade anti-abuse services by showing their malicious content only to mobile users. More than a quarter of a million mobile users. The […]

Guatemalan scammers taking lessons from Nigeria?


Thursday, February 06, 2014 by Emmet Cassidy

When it comes to exports and Guatemala, we generally think coffee. However, while poring over our Mobile messaging data, we discovered another Guatemalan export: Nigerian-style scam campaigns. Over the past two to three years, mobile phone users in the USA have been receiving SMS messages, originating in Guatemala, informing them that they have won a […]

Cloudmark’s 2013 Annual Global Messaging Threat Report


Thursday, January 30, 2014 by Tom Landesman

As the Chinese New Year rings in the year of the Horse, we’re also excited to announce the release of our 2013 Annual Global Messaging Threat Report. Looking back at the year, we discuss the evolving realm of highly targeted, regional SMS spam campaigns, spammers’ preference for financial themes, Apple iMessage abuse, dramatic increases in […]

Snapchat Spam is Not a Natural Consequence of Growth


Monday, January 13, 2014 by Andrew Conway

In a recent blog post, Team Snapchat responded to users who were complaining of a recent increase in spam (emphasis in the original): While we expect to minimize spam, it is the consequence of a quickly growing service. To help prevent spam from entering your feed, you can adjust your settings to determine who can […]

Snapchat Exploit Leads to 4.6 Million Exposed Records


Friday, January 03, 2014 by Tom Landesman

Snapchat may have had less than a happy New Year thanks to the authors of SnapchatDB.info. The site, released on December 31, features approximately 4.6 million Snapchat users’ username, phone number, and area-code-derived geographical region. These records were collected using an exploit published by Gibson Security who has been exploring the undocumented Snapchat API for […]

Maryland Clinic Sends SMS Spam Promoting Obamacare Sign Up


Monday, December 23, 2013 by Andrew Conway

We recently reported on Obamacare related spam in email, but now we are seeing it in the SMS world. We’ve received a number of SMS spam reports to 7726 from Maryland area codes reporting messages like this. The affordable coverage deadline is DEC. 27. Enroll with an [REDACTED] Health specialist: www.[REDACTED].org/g We put your health […]

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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