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messagelabs Articles

Cyber Attackers Pose as New York Times
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Symantec’s MessageLabs tells WebProNews there is a new targeted attack using emails pretending to be from the New York Times. MessageLabs Intelligence tracked the attack yesterday, which used emails pretending to come from the NYT’s "Times Reader" software, hitting six different domains. One domain was a public sector domain, one was a law firm, and three were to chemical companies, and one was an online gambling company in the UK.

Beware the Emails of Halloween
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Symantec’s MessageLabs released its Intelligence Report for the month of October, and it reveals the that the spammers behind the biggest botnets – Cutwail, Rustock and Donbot – are using the upcoming major holidays and world events as the themes for their the latest spam runs. This is not particularly surprising news, but it is news that people should be aware of nevertheless.

Top 10 Most Spammed States in the US
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Symantec’s MessageLabs revealed a list of the most spammed states in the US today, with some somewhat surprising results. And the award for state that receives the most spam is…Idaho.

Short URL Spam a Big Threat in August

Spammers are taking particular advantage of the heightened interest in health-related issues like swine flu and healthcare reform to distribute large shortened-URL spam runs using the Donbot botnet, according to Symantec’s MessageLabs.

Corporate Spam Levels Hit 90% In May
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Spammers operate on a US work schedule, according to MessageLabs’ May spam report (PDF), either because the most active spammers—the workaholic-type spammers—are more likely to be operating in the US. But affluence among American workers, and their affinities for social networking and webmail also make them attractive targets.

Malicious Content Found More on Well Established Sites

MessageLabs Intelligence released some new  information today indicating that the assumption that most web-based malware resides on fly-by-night websites touting adult content, is an "old-fashioned notion."

Instead, a MessageLabs (part of Symantec) spokesperson tells WebProNews that cybercriminals are more likely to be hiding on legitimate web sites tha have been compromised.

Data from the week of May 5th shows that:

Search Engine Spam Comes with a New Twist
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For the first time in over a year, spammers are using popular search engine links to disguise malicious web addresses according to Symantec’s MessageLabs. In February, users have been targeted with the promise of good deals and cheap goods as they struggle through the economic crisis.

Search Engine Spam

Such spam messages contain text like:

Email Scams Already Way More Prevalent in ’09
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We’re only on day ten of 2009, and MessageLabs (owned by Symantec) is already telling me that it has detected a significant spike in email fraud and financial scams compared to last year. In the first week, messages with subjects like "Congratulations New Year winner!  You have won the UK National Lottery" make up nearly 10% of all e-mail,  three times what it was in the first two weeks of 2008.