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Spammers' New Methods of Deception Uncovered

Spammers Break Out New Methods of Deception
Spammers, while evil, are a crafty bunch. They constantly adapt to the security firms who attempt to stay ahead of these scam artists. It used to be that spammers were simply the junk mailers of the electronic world, assuring you were aware of the latest deals on 'personal enhancement' devices. Then viruses and spyware embedded in HTML and images became a new threat. In January, image-based spam made up 50 percent of all spam. Since then, security firms have figured out ways to identify and block the images, and image-based spam has dropped to just eight percent of the total.

Now that spam blockers and security companies have caught on, spammers have moved on to their next method of attack: rogue file attachments.

In three short months, PDF (Portable Document Format) attachments have gone from non-existent as a form of spam to a surprising eight percent. Storm, a virus that disguises itself as an electronic greeting card, fools spam blockers since the e-mail looks like a harmless nice note from a friend. Even Excel files and Zip archives are becoming tools of the e-scammer, each capable of being embedded with spyware and "mail bots," programs that use your computer to send spam.

Always remember: Never open attachments from untrusted sources anyway.

From USA Today

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Tags: excel, pdf, scam, security, spam, virus, zip



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