The end of image spam

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Image spam numbers hit lowest recorded levels in 10 months, according to security experts.

Spammers are heading back to the ‘drawing board’ to formulate new spamming techniques after the lowest recorded image spam levels in 10 months, according to Marshal.

The email and content security vendor revealed that for the week ending 20 May 2007 image spam accounted for only 15.6 per cent of all spam compared to its peak at 40 per cent in the first quarter of this year.

“This is the lowest level we have seen image spam since mid-July 2006…which rose to become the dominant form of spam in the first quarter of this year,” said Bradley Anstis Marshal director of product management.

Improved anti-image spam technologies could be a possible reason for the decline said Anstis but it is difficult to determine whether it is the end of the popular technique.

“It is not all good news. This downturn in the use of image spam has not coincided with a drop in total spam levels, which are still very high. Spammers may be ‘back at the drawing board’ developing new techniques to defeat spam filters,” he said.

Agreeing, Vincent Weafer, senior director of development, Symantec Security Response team said you’ll see these waves continuously coming through. So long as people are motivated and can make money they will continue with their pursuit of evading security technology.

“We saw a big surge in spam bots earlier in the year. Using stealth techniques and creating aggressive outbreaks via multiple avenues like P2P sites.”

Weafer said it all comes down to botnets. Whether it is a DNS attacks, phishing or spam, ultimately more needs to be done to eradicate the ability of bots.

Best practices will determine whether you become a victim or not. A house in a bad neighbourhood with lights on and a dog will not fall victim to crime; the same thing applies with Web security, said Weafer.

The end of image spam
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