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Intelligence Briefings from the War on Spam

Snapchat Spam is Not a Natural Consequence of Growth

Mon, Jan 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 […]

The Underused Unsubscribe

Wed, Jan 08, 2014 by Andrew Conway

Feedback from users is an important part of Cloudmark’s spam filtering (along with spam traps, a policy engine, and other goodies.) Even with the best of spam filters, sometimes a new type of spam message makes it through to an end user’s inbox. However, if they are at one of our clients and they click […]

Snapchat Exploit Leads to 4.6 Million Exposed Records

Fri, Jan 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 […]

Ten Years of CAN-SPAM

Thu, Jan 02, 2014 by Andrew Conway

January 1st, 2014 marked the 10th anniversary of the CAN-SPAM Act taking force in the US. This laid down rules for bulk emailing, and provided criminal penalties for breaking them. The act was widely criticized at the time, as it still permitted unsolicited bulk emailing so long as a prior business relationship existed. In fact, […]

Maryland Clinic Sends SMS Spam Promoting Obamacare Sign Up

Mon, Dec 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

Wed, Dec 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 […]

SMS Spam Reports to 7726 Provide Evidence to Fine UK Spammer

Tue, Dec 17, 2013 by Andrew Conway

We are always happy to see legal action taken against spammers, so it was good to hear from the UK that one of the leading payday loan SMS spammers was facing a fine of £175,000 ($285,000) imposed by the Information Commissioner’s Office. We were even more pleased to see that much of the evidence for […]

Need Some Extra Cash for the Holidays?

Mon, Dec 09, 2013 by Andrew Conway

Please don’t try to make it with get rich quick schemes on the Internet. Work from home scams are a perennial form of email and SMS spam, making up about 4.5% of all the spam reports we see from the US (and 18% of all the spam reports that are really spam – more on […]

Mobile Spam Trends Analysis for New York City

Fri, Dec 06, 2013 by Tom Landesman

Spammers are in a New York state of mind. The 917 area code was in the top 20 area codes that received the highest volume of spam this year. The volume of SMS spam peaked in September, with 917 hitting the 5th spot in the nation. The area code, which encompasses all five boroughs, beat […]

2014 Message Security Predictions

Wed, Dec 04, 2013 by Neil Cook

As many start-ups are teaching us, eyeballs and information are hot commodities. As online marketers branch out, mobile messaging, in particular SMS, as a communications channel is poised to become the next email — completely saturated with legitimate businesses looking to easily connect with and market to end-users. Marketing firms won’t be the only ones […]


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