Symantec warns of "Christmas" spam

Symantec warns of "Christmas" spam

Symantec's December spam report identifies "Christmas" as a keyword for holiday spam, amongst other threats including the resurgence of image spam.

With the holidays on their way, pharmaceutical, product and casino spammers are heading up their messages with references to "Christmas" and saving you the trouble of traipsing around the shops looking for gifts.

Image spam is on the rise again in connection with phishing attacks based around spoofing messages from financial institutions. Image spam also poses a threat to email infrastructure due to its increased file size of between 5-50kb as compared to 2-5kb for the average email.

Lottery scam, closely related to Nigerian or 419 spam, is also on the rise. Two notable lottery scams were observed by Symantec in October 2008. The FIFA World Cup which opens in South Africa in 2010 was targeted in one scam. This lottery scam message claimed that in conjunction with the South Africa 2010 World Cup organising committee, a drawing had taken place, and the “lucky” email recipient won a jackpot of $USD 800K. In order to claim the prize, the email recipient is instructed to contact a paying agent and provide them

with their personal information. A similar scam is being run around the 2012 London Olympics with emails claiming the recipient has won £950k.

On a brighter note, the take down of Californian ISP McColo has reduced the overall volume of spam. McColo's clients included cybercriminal groups that ran some of the biggest spam-spewing and malware-spreading botnets in the world.

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