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Spam Articles

Spammers Take Scripts To User-Generated Sites
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The number of websites blocked for hosting malicious content rose by 197 percent in March, according to MessageLabs, the highest number since October 2008. Experts credit the spike to a sharp increase in web-based and email-borne images with injected scripts like JavaScript and VBScript.

Phishing Scam Leads To Four Years In Prison For Connecticut Man

A Connecticut man has been sentenced to four years in prison for his role in a phishing scam that tricked AOL users into turning over personal information.

Charlie Blount, JR., 25 of West Haven, along with Michael Dolan and others conspired to "harvest" email addresses of AOL subscribers from the Internet, according to court documents.

Phishing

YouTube Freezes View Spammers
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We often hear about people trying to "game" search engines and social media sites to promote their content. We hear it about Google, Digg, and others, but for some reason, we don’t often hear about such practices with regards to YouTube.

That does not mean that it’s not happening.. And why wouldn’t it? It’s one of the most popular social networks, and it’s the second largest search engine and the 4th largest web property according to Product Manager Matt Liu.

Create Trust, Reduce Spam with Google Friend Connect API
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Yesterday, at PubCon South, Matt Cutts talked about Google Launching the Google Friend Connect API. Shortly after WebProNews broke this story, Cutts sat down with our own Abby Johnson for an exclusive interview in which he discussed the API launch in a litle more detail.

Restraining Order Issued Against Facebook Spammers
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Facebook won a restraining order against notorious spam king Samford “Spamford” Wallace in US District Court, a victory that, if history is any indication, is mostly symbolic.
Facebook Gavel

Spam King Back in News Thanks to Facebook
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Spam King - Sanford WallaceRemember Sanford Wallace? A little less than a year ago, MySpace won a lawsuit against him after filing it about a year earlier based on a phishing scheme carried out six months before that. He created profiles, groups, and forums on  MySpace to lead users to his sites.

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:

Google’s Cutts Apologizes For Paid Post Snafu
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Jaws dropped last week upon the news Google penalized its own Japanese site in Google search results after discovering Google Japan participated in a pay-per-post blogging scheme. WebProNews Video caught up with Google’s anti-spam-team captain, Matt Cutts, who offers his apologies.

Spammers Exploit Twitter Registration Flaw
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The moment Twitter surpassed Digg.com was the moment it became a huge target; success comes with its own perils. While marketers early on were interested in the microblogging platform’s potential, an apparent flaw in the registration process left it wide open to automated spamming.
Spammers Exploit Twitter Registration Flaw

Evil Twitter Clones

twitterPerhaps it’s a sign that the site is reaching more mainstream popularity levels, but Twitter is fast becoming a haven for spammers. Accounts include semi-naked girls with just one link to an affiliate site to brands that use the service for nothing more sending direct messages to other users with a sales link.

Yahoo Mail Talks Anti-Spam Improvement
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Mark RisherYahoo is taking new measures to increase it’s ability to prevent spam from reaching your Yahoo Mail inbox, and from legitimate messages from reaching your spam folder.

Spam News: Michelle Obama Hotter Than Britney?
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Well, socially speaking, there being more interest in First Lady-Elect Michelle Obama than in Britney Spears or Paris Hilton is a positive change, one that bodes well for society. On the flip side, as Inauguration Day nears, spammers are rewarding that renewed interest in affairs of state with an onslaught of junk mail.

Of the 1.4 million spam emails analyzed by SPAMfighter in December, Michelle Obama was the subject nearly five times as much as Britney Spears was, nearly six times as often as Paris Hilton, and ten times as much as Angelina Jolie.

What SEOs Want from Google’s Webspam Team in ’09
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UPDATE: Cutts has tallied the demands so far and shares them in a list here.

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.

Unemployed A Big Spam/Phishing Target In 2009
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Expect more sophisticated spamming in 2009. And thanks to the economy, an increase in scams targeting the down and out, the tax-rebate hopeful, and the noble yet digitally naïve pull-yourself-up-by-your-bootstraps market.
Unemployed A Big Spam/Phishing Target In 2009

Google Takes Third Spot on Spam List

Spamhaus is a non-profit organization dedicated to tracking the Internet’s spam operations. They have just released a new list of the top ten ISPs used for spam purposes, and the big G is number 3 on the list with 21 current known spam issues.

Spammers Turning To Targeted Attacks
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Spammers are now taking their cue from search engines and advertisers by making their emails more personalized in attempts to steal users information, according to a new security report from Cisco.

The report found there was a 90 percent growth in threats coming from legitimate domains, nearly double what was seen in 2007. While targeted spear-phishing represents about 1 percent of all phishing attacks it is on track to become more widespread as savvy criminals personalize spam and make messages appear more credible.

Big Company Exploiting Twitter?
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Twitter can be gamed too? Who would have thought? If there is a way to get promotion from a popular social site, you know that it will be taken advantage of. It just becomes a matter of competition at some point, perhaps even with people being paid to help with that promotion (right Diggers?).

Facebook Wins Huge Judgment In Spam Suit
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"You win some, you lose some" may well be Facebook’s unofficial motto.  Even as word spread this morning that the company had tried and failed to acquire Twitter, there’s fresh news that a spam lawsuit led to it being awarded over $873 million in damages.

Spam Botnet Earns Estimated $3.5 Million Annually
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A study on spam from Berkeley and UCSD came back with some pretty intriguing results. The most publicized one was that 1 in 12.5 million conversions is all it may take for spam to be profitable. Other findings show Hotmail may have the best spam filters, and that it’s likely that spambot operations are not third-party services.

Matt Cutts Likes To Play With Spammers
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Well now that the Yahoo deal fell through, some are looking for their own opportunities to team up with Google. One such person is a guy named Rob.

Matt Cutts shared a humorous experience on his blog about a guy who wants to "purchase advertising space".  Matt shares the initial email:

    Dear Webmaster,