Menu
Spam surge sways stock market

Spam surge sways stock market

Last week saw the Internet's biggest-ever spam surge in a single day, and also offered a lesson on why "pump and dump" stock-market spam campaigns have become so prevalent, according to Postini.

The campaign was an example of the recent trend of junk email using PDF attachments as a way of getting around spam filters. But Postini said the surge marked the biggest increase in spam it had ever recorded, boosting total spam volumes 445 percent in a one-day period at its peak on Thursday morning.

Sophos Labs, which also detected the spam surge beginning on Tuesday, said it intercepted around 500 million PDF spams advertising shares in a particular target company.

The massive size of the campaign is unusual, according to Sophos Labs director Mark Harris. "To date, the trend has been for smaller campaigns that rapidly evolve and modify themselves to try to get round anti-spam products," he said on the Sophos blog.

The campaign had tailed off by Thursday but didn't disappear -- rather, it continued to mutate over the weekend, Sophos said.

In the meantime, the campaign appeared to have another notable effect, in that the company targeted a small Florida-based firm called Prime Time Group involved in wireless and retail interests, and as of Thursday afternoon actually saw its share price rise 84 percent from its Monday value, before plummeting again.

In response, Prime Time was forced to issue a statement avowing it had nothing to do with the campaign, and even ordered a Non Objecting Beneficial Owners (NOBO) list to track down investors who violated stock-market regulations during the course of the share price fluctuations.

Harris said the spam's effect on Prime Time's share price shows how such campaigns play on human nature. He noted that many of those who buy into the stock advertised are not necessarily fooled by the campaign, but simply want to get in on the profits that might be generated by the "pump and dump" scam.

"While recipients of this type of spam continue to try and profit on these 'tips' stock, spam will continue," Harris wrote.


Follow Us

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Featured

Slideshows

Meet the leading female front runners of the Kiwi channel

Meet the leading female front runners of the Kiwi channel

Reseller News honoured the leading female front runners of the New Zealand channel at the 2018 Women in ICT Awards (WIICTA) in Auckland. The awards honoured standout individuals across seven categories, spanning Entrepreneur; Innovation; Rising Star; Shining Star; Community; Technical and Achievement.

Meet the leading female front runners of the Kiwi channel
Meet the top performing customer-centric Microsoft channel partners

Meet the top performing customer-centric Microsoft channel partners

Microsoft honoured leading partners across the channel following a year of customer innovation and market growth in New Zealand. The 2018 Microsoft Partner Awards recognised excellence within the context of the end-user, spanning a host of emerging and established providers.

Meet the top performing customer-centric Microsoft channel partners
Reseller News launches new-look Awards at 2018 Judges’ Lunch

Reseller News launches new-look Awards at 2018 Judges’ Lunch

Introducing the Reseller News Innovation Awards, launched to the channel at the 2018 Judges’ Lunch in Auckland. With more than 70 judges now part of the voting panel, the new-look awards will reflect the changing dynamics of the channel, recognising excellence across customer value and innovation - spanning start-ups, partners, distributors and vendors.

Reseller News launches new-look Awards at 2018 Judges’ Lunch
Show Comments