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Week in review: November 29 – October 6
1. Canadian “Newsletters” (NEWSLETTER = 5.12%)
For about one year now, newsletter-like spam messages have been the favorite method of packaging unsolicited mail. This week’s number one word in the BitDefender spam top is NEWSLETTER, and it is mostly found in bulk mail advertising Canadian Pharmacy pills, among others. The most interesting spam wave abusing the above-mentioned word advertises a fully-fledged spam service including mail servers, a 12-million mail address database AND the HTML templates to conveniently spam out the so-called “newsletters”.
The all-in-one spam service
2. Click, click, you’re infected (CLICK = 2.95%)
The word CLICK comes in second this week with nearly 3% of the top words used in spam. Not only is it a prominent member of the Spam Omelette, but it is also associated with a spam wave that’s, well, pretty unfriendly, to say the least. This is one of the few spam waves that come bundled with malware disguised as harmless e-cards. In order to trick users into running it, the file comes with a double extension (.gif.exe), so if the operating system is set not to display known extensions, you’ll only see the file named card.gif. Inside the package, there’s Backdoor.Zapchast.PI which will give full control over the infected machine to a remote attacker.
Yet another Welcome to the botnet greeting card.
3. The polite conman (PLEASE = 2.76%)
Ranking third in this week’s spam top, PLEASE accounts for 2.76 percent of the most frequently used words in unsolicited messages. The largest spam wave abusing the word is a classical Nigerian scam relocated in Hong Kong for extra credibility. Unlike other attempts of this kind, the scammers behind the spam run don’t expect to rip you off, but rather build a nice e-mail address database of persons who are naïve enough to reply to this kind of messages.
How about some easy money?
4. Subscribe again to spam (SUBSCRIBE = 2.70%)
This week’s fourth contender rises up to almost half of the first runner’s number of occurrences. It is mostly encountered in bulk mail advertising Canadian Pharmacy products. This specific spam wave uses a newsletter-like template with a central image and multiple footer links, a classic approach for Canadian Pharmacy and the like. This Canadian Pharmacy clone is hosted in Russia, but prior to taking the user to the landing page the site performs a number of redirects and also adds the victim’s e-mail address to a “spam-me-more” database.
The newsletter that lets you do anything but unsubscribe
5. BUY cheap knock-off pills (BUY = 2.19%)
The word BUY concludes this week’s spam survey and it is mostly related to medicine spam and replica accessories, such as bags and watches. If you’re on the look-out for prescription-based drugs or for a premium present for your significant other, then you’d better look somewhere else, or else you’ll end up with no merchandise or money on your credit card.
Plenty of pills to choose from. Some of them are illegal, others are simply dangerous.