Saturday, December 17, 2011

Spammers Get Up Close and Personal

Spearphishers' address you by name. Here's how to protect yourself

You may have noticed that your email inbox has less spam — you're getting fewer offers to sell cheap pharmaceuticals or help a deposed Nigerian prince.

Yes, the volume of junk email is down — dramatically. Symantec, which makes Norton antivirus software, estimates that spam peaked in July 2010 with an average 225 billion messages sent each day, compared with less than 50 billion a year later.

In spearfishing, scammers try to hook you with a personal touch; using your name, for instance.

Some of the credit goes to law enforcement and corporate cyber-cops for busting major criminal networks that were sending the stuff out through botnets, home or business computers that have been stealthily linked to forward spam.

In April, the FBI helped seize control of one botnet, called Coreflood, and scrubbed 19,000 computers infected with its spam-sending software. And in the same month, Microsoft managed to dismantle the infamous botnet, which once distributed nearly half of all spam.

But there's another reason for the drop: The crooks are narrowing their ..  Read the entire article.

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