Menu
Trend Micro's spam traps surface more Ashley Madison fake users

Trend Micro's spam traps surface more Ashley Madison fake users

The bogus accounts may have been created by spammers

There hasn't been a lack of strange things turning up in the Ashley Madison data leak.

One of the latest discoveries comes from Trend Micro, which found bogus Ashley Madison profiles that used email addresses the company created solely for collecting spam samples.

The email addresses are known as "honeypots," a general term for systems set up by researchers in the hope that they will be attacked. Studying the attacks can shed light on new methods used by malicious hackers.

One of Trend's addresses was used for a profile describing a 33-year-old Los Angeles woman who is "sexy, aggressive" and "knows what she wants," wrote Ryan Flores, a threat research manager with Trend, in a blog post.

So why would someone use one of Trend's honeypot addresses to register an Ashley Madison account?

There's no definite answer but there are a couple of theories. Flores looked at the IP addresses used to register the honeypot addresses.

Those IP addresses, which were contained in the large batches of data about users, were distributed across various countries and on consumer DSL lines, Flores wrote.

About 90 per cent of the profiles, however, were male. It has been theorized that Ashley Madison may have padded out the site with fake female profiles in order to attract more male customers, so that finding doesn't quite fit.

If the accounts weren't created by Ashley Madison, there's another possibility - forum and comment spammers, Flores wrote.

"These forum and comment spammers are known to create website profiles and pollute forum threads and blog posts with spam comments," Flores wrote.

Ashley Madison didn't require non-paying users to confirm their email addresses, so there was no need for the spammers to have access to the accounts they registered.

"It leaves the possibility that at least some of the profiles were created by these spambots," Flores wrote.

Trend Micro stumbled on the finding after their honeypot addresses began receiving extortion attempts from scammers.

Following a large release of data last month, Ashley Madison users reportedly received ransom requests in order to keep scammers from revealing their information to employers and family.

Subscribe here for up-to-date channel news

Follow Us

Join the New Zealand Reseller News newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags trend microspambotsspam email. securityAshley Madison

Featured

Slideshows

StorageCraft celebrates high achievers at its inaugural A/NZ Partner Awards

StorageCraft celebrates high achievers at its inaugural A/NZ Partner Awards

Revealed at a glitzy bash in Sydney at the Ivy Penthouse, the first StorageCraft Partner Awards locally saw the vendor honour its top-performing partners with ASI Solutions, SMBiT Pro, Webroot, ACA Pacific and Soft Solutions New Zealand taking home the top awards. Photos by Maria Stefina.

StorageCraft celebrates high achievers at its inaugural A/NZ Partner Awards
Kiwi resellers make a splash on Synnex and Lenovo RotoVegas road trip

Kiwi resellers make a splash on Synnex and Lenovo RotoVegas road trip

​Synnex and Lenovo hosted 18 resellers for an action-packed weekend adventure in RotoVegas, taking in white water rafting on the Kaituna River, as well as quad biking and dinner at Stratosfare​, overlooking Lake Rotorua at the top of Mount Ngongotaha​. Photos by Synnex.

Kiwi resellers make a splash on Synnex and Lenovo RotoVegas road trip
Show Comments