SPAM REVIEW

The Spam Omelette #7

Welcome to the seventh issue of the Spam Omelette, our weekly review on spam and the latest industry trends! Before going any further, please make sure that you take a look at our testing and map generation methodology, as explained in our first issue.

Spam Omelette 7 Map

If our previous tops looked pretty much alike, with little variation in words and their proportion, this week’s spam review unveils a new spam term that managed to strike gold.

1. Less WEIGHT, more fun

This week’s number one spam term is WEIGHT. It has been identified by the BitDefender Antispam researchers in mail messages advertising the “perfect Christmas gift”: replica watches.

Weight Spam

A closer look into the spam message revealed that the spammer is using specific patterns in the receipt list. For instance, the above spam wave has been sent to all users whose email address begin with bogdan. and use the free mail service offered by Google (Gmail).

2. One-CLICK wonder

Ranking second in our spam top, the word CLICK has been identified in a spam campaign advertising the same type of products: knock-off watches and designer bags at discounted prices. This type of messages started to flood users’ inboxes since early November, but their presence increased, probably boosted by the upcoming winter holidays.

Click Spam Rolex Image

3. FREE credit for Poker sessions

What better place to spend Christmas than an online poker room wasting the money saved for presents? PokerSavvy, one of the biggest spam sources, comes to the rescue with some extra credit for poker addicts. The aggressive advertisement to online poker games is relayed by Bronto.com, a company specialized in e-mail marketing.

Free image Spam

4. PLEASE buy a forged university degree

The word PLEASE ranks fourth in this week’s spam top and is frequently encountered in unsolicited emails advertising hassle-free university degrees. According to the message, all the user has to do is to call a number and they will be provided with a college degree.

The message comes with a suspicious subject, namely an alleged “new salary structure” and looks as if it were a forwarded message. This way, the spammer relies on the recipients’ curiosity in order to have the message displayed.

 

Please Spam

5. The lucky EMAIL

Ranking last in our weekly spam review, the word EMAIL has been identified in unsolicited messages announcing the recipients that they have won a fabulous amount of money at the Yahoo / MSN raffle.

Email Spam

In order to be able to collect the prize, the recipients are required to disclose sensitive details about themselves, such as the full name, the personal address, cell phone and home numbers, occupation, age and the number of the account used for the alleged money transfer. Such details may be used by spammers for credit card fraud or identity theft.

 

What’s new in the spam landscape?

Product spam has witnessed a tremendous spam as Christmas and the New Year’s Eve are getting closer, especially replica watches and knock-off bags – advertised as “the perfect gifts for Christmas”.

Holiday Loan Spam

Medicine spam has considerably decreased to a faint fraction of the total amount of spam received via BitDefender honeypots. However, messages advertising “friendly” loans for Christmas already started to show up.

About the author

Bogdan BOTEZATU

Bogdan Botezatu is living his second childhood at Bitdefender as senior e-threat analyst. When he is not documenting sophisticated strains of malware or writing removal tools, he teaches extreme sports such as surfing the web without protection or rodeo with wild Trojan horses. He believes that most things in life can be beat with strong heuristics and that antimalware research is like working for a secret agency: you need to stay focused at all times, but you get all the glory when you catch the bad guys.