Technology and Business Law Blog

Next Level of Spams

‘Spams have been around for a while since the Internet and the e-mail systems got popular. Apart from the Viagra e-mails, for years I have been getting requests from Nigerian nationals to help get millions of US dollars out of that country, one look at these mails and it is so obvious that it is a hoax. Another notably one was when I put an ad on Craig’s list to sell my car and I get an very authentic looking e-mail from a supposedly car dealer who will not be able to take a look at the car personally but will be sending a check much greater than the amount for the car drawn on so and so bank for me to en-cash and send him back the balance. To my reply that you will need to send a money order or cashier’s check there was no response.

Then there are these phony bank notices which look like real sophisticated and authentic and states something like this:

We detected irregular activity on your credit card and for your security, your online banking profile has been locked due to inactivity or because of too many failed log-in attempts“, and then the email asks you to click on a given link which would lead to an authentic looking bank home page where you are asked to log in and provide your account number, expiration date etc.We need to be real alert and watch out for little tell tail signs like misspelling, not the exact company logo, wrong URL, incorrect copyright notation.

Now, taking it to the next level according to this article in the Washington Post, people are getting e-mails telling them that they are about to be killed but if the recipient of the e-mail would pay a stated amount of money then they will be spared. This is real cyber space extortion and in these kinds of e-mails even if a few people responded to the mail out of fear and revealed their personal information then the sender has benefited in the process.

There are also e-mails from supposedly FBI agents and the State Department asking for banking information. It is best not to click on any of the given links and not respond to the e-mails. It is a good idea to register a complaint with the Internet crime complaint center at www. ic3.gov.

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February 27, 2008 Posted by | Cyber safety, Fraud, spam | Leave a comment

Spam and Online Interactions.

It’s the holiday season and so watch out for increased spam activity. With holiday shopping in the air, and everyone shopping for deals in the Internet and businesses targeting consumers with ads, coupons and discount deals, spammers join the band wagon and slip spam ads, content and viruses under the cover of great advertising deals.

Another way that spammers trick the users is by propagating worms. One of the most popular one is the storm worm which was spread by sending out legitimate appearing messages with things like current news events and online greeting cards as the subject matter thus seemingly innocuous or purported messages from IRS and other government agencies so that the user clicks on it and then the malware gets downloaded into the users computer. The virus links itself with other computers by p2p networking and embeds itself into the users computer.

Spam and worms can also be disseminated through common email attachments like excel spread sheets, power point etc. As a precaution it is advisable not to open an email if you don’t know the sender and as a general rule don’t open the mail in the junk box unless accidentally an email from a known sender was redirected to the junk box.

Basically the spammers focus and work on the human weakness of getting good deals or not passing one up, being curious about keeping abreast of current events and most importantly on the misplaced belief that it could happen to others but not me. All the firewall and anti-virus software can block spam only to a certain extent since hackers and spammers find ways to get around it so, ultimately common sense has to prevail in all online interactions.

December 4, 2007 Posted by | On-line world, spam | Leave a comment