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Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Mega-Spam: No Breathing Space - Breathing Space Blog

The website reports that “image spam” could bring the internet to a standstill. “At first, they seem like your average junk email, containing share tips or an advertisement for Viagra, along with a small, slightly garbled picture.But this, experts say, is the spam that could bring the internet to a virtual standstill this year.”

“To bypass anti-spam software, the emails use an image instead of text. In the past six months, this image spam has seen a massive increase and now represents 35 per cent of all junk email, according to security software firm F-Secure and image spam is taking up 70 per cent of the bandwidth bulge. The emails, generally containing stock tips, come from gangs and even bored teenagers in the United States and Russia trying to inflate prices in a swindle called ‘pump-and-dump’. They promise that a cheap, usually American, stock will take off. The perpetrator then dumps his stock as buyers leap in before it collapses.”

“Dmitri Allperovitch of computer security company CipherTrust said: ‘They're niche companies with no profit and no products, so when you see a spike from almost no trades to two or three million when the spam is sent out, you know there were a lot of people who fell for it.’” Is your PC a slave unit to such schemes?

Are you unwittingly passing bogus information to millions of other people?

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