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Intelligence Briefings from the War on Spam

Black Hat 2014: Russian Spammers Compromise 420,000 Websites

Wed, Aug 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, […]

How Spammers are Abusing Twitter’s URL Shortener

Wed, Aug 06, 2014 by Andrew Conway

URL shorteners such as,, and have long been used by spammers. They provide an unlimited source of different URLs which can be used in emails to disguise the final landing page. The major companies providing this service all have anti-abuse filters in place to attempt to control this sort of malicious activity. […]

The importance of being identifiable

Mon, Jul 28, 2014 by James Hoddinott

One of the technical pitfalls that many senders face surrounds the rDNS of an IP address. rDNS (also referred to as reverse DNS or a PTR record) is the friendly hostname that an IP address maps to and, from a human point of view, can be used to more easily identify a connection. Generally speaking, […]

Advanced Fee Scam by Phone

Fri, Jul 25, 2014 by Andrew Conway

I recently got a phone call telling me that I had been randomly awarded a $95,000 US government grant. Judging from the accent of the caller and the background noise I think it came from a boiler room operation in India somewhere, possibly the same one that keeps calling me to try to persuade me […]

Glide video messaging app continues to generate high levels of SMS spam complaints

Thu, Jul 24, 2014 by Brock Henry

Earlier this year we were seeing a number of reports of SMS spam related to, which is a mobile video messaging app. Tried video texting? Ready for Glide? Seen Glide? Tried video texting? has had a history of spam, including where the admitted that they were spamming and would […]

Apple SMS phishing and the iCloud

Tue, Jul 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 […]

Cloudmark’s 2014 Q2 Global Messaging Threat Report

Wed, Jul 16, 2014 by Tom Landesman

Spammers and attackers in both email and SMS were quick to redouble their efforts this quarter. In our 2014 Q2 Global Messaging Threat Report, we take a look at some of these various new trends popping up around the world. Comically, email phishers were quick to exploit the Heartbleed exploit without using the exploit. Deploying […]

Abusing Apple’s iMessage in the Big Apple

Tue, Jul 15, 2014 by Tom Landesman

Last year we took a look at specific SMS spam trends affecting New York City residents and found an abundance of scams claiming the recipient had won “free” stuff. This year, however, things have gotten a bit more interesting with a wave of Apple iMessage spam that, naturally, only targets iPhone users. During the past […]

Canadian Anti Spam Law (CASL)–a good step, but not the end of spam

Thu, Jul 10, 2014 by Mark Stemm

On July 1, a new anti-spam law went into effect in Canada that significantly changes how commercial email messaging operates. The most significant feature of the Canadian Anti Spam Law (CASL) is that commercial senders must obtain express permission (i.e. opt-in) in order to continue sending commercial email. (There is a 3 year transition period […]

How to Report Text Message Spam: Samsung Galaxy S5 (TouchWiz)

Wed, Jul 02, 2014 by Tom Landesman

Plagued with annoying spam texts on your Samsung device? Report them to the GSMA spam reporting service! On most networks this can be done by forwarding them to 7726 (that’s S-P-A-M on your phone’s keypad.) Reporting these spam messages helps your mobile operator to take action against spammers and prevent further spam. Please note: while many […]

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