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AppRiver's November Spam Report

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Published on Dec 6, 2011

October was a fairly eventful month in the world of the malicious. The passing of Apple Computer's Steve Jobs at the beginning of the month got a lot of people talking about the man he was and the impact he had on technology. The news also stirred scammers into thinking about new ways to rip off innocent people. Just like past campaigns, scammers sent out links to what were supposed to be news stories, but instead turned out to be malware designed to steal account information from its unsuspecting victims. Here are a few other highlights from the month of October: The Zeus Trojan remained hard at work impersonating the United States Chamber of Commerce in a rather confusing ploy to snare business owners. Another campaign early on in the month claimed that the IRS was coming after its victims because they had accumulated certain arrears against their accounts. As it turns out, it was just a trick to put fake anti-virus software on their machines. What was a never before seen subterfuge used by scammers a couple of months ago remains a very popular theme. We had gotten used to seeing the fake delivery service and bank emails laden with malware in the past, but now a new favorite of the mal-aligned is to mimic the ACH, or Nacha in particular. ACH stands for Automated Clearing House and is responsible for processing large amounts of credit card and debit card transactions in the United States. A large organization that handles a large amount of money. There are many toolkits available for the beginner cybercriminal. Kits like IcePack, CrimePack, GPack, Zeus, and Incognito exist, but none are quite as prevalent as this year's up and comer, Blackhole. We look at how this kit has been combined with an email component to ramp up its effectiveness. Libya, and Muammar Gadhafi specifically, have been dominating news headlines for a while. On the 20th of October, after a final standoff in Sirte, Libya's leader was captured and killed. The underground market saw this as another opportunity to deliver malware surrounding the event.

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