German hate mail spam attack stuns experts
Speculation that the rash of Internet worms which infect computers and open them to exploitation by the worms' programmers would be used to create a
vast distribution network for Spam messages has been confirmed. A group with connections to those in control of thousands of computers infected with
worm have used these �Zombie PCs� to
harvest email addresses and send massive amounts of Neo-Nazi spam. The e-mails contained a message of an anti-Semitic/racist nature and included links
to neo-Nazi websites.
The Register- German Hate Mail
-Mailboxes in Germany and the
Netherlands were flooded yesterday with spam containing German right-wing propaganda. Spammers used the Sober.G virus - a mass mailing worm that sends
itself to email addresses harvested from infected computers - to spread their messages as widely as possible. Analysts think the spammers may have
worked in tandem with virus programmers to hijack PCs and use addresses found there to build large distribution lists. This is believed to be the
first time that right wing extremists have used spamming systematically to reach a broad audience. The sheer size of the operation stunned many
experts. Please visit the link provided for the complete story.
An investigation is underway to find the group or individual responsible for the Spam attack.
The term is used frequently, but what is "Spam�" Webster's Dictionary defines it as, "Unsolicited e-mail, often of a commercial nature, sent
indiscriminately to multiple mailing lists, individuals, or newsgroups; junk e-mail." Some organizations that track the worldwide distribution of
Spam blame infected PCs for sending up to 80% of unsolicited commercial e-mail. These networks are leased to professional spammers to relay their
messages on an Internet black market. run by the virus programmers. As few as two hundred professional spammers or "spam gangs" are thought to be
responsible for 90% of the Spam on the Internet.
The "Sober" worm family is given a severity rating of "low" to "medium" by the major antivirus vendors, but is still quite active.
Dozens of other viruses, trojans, and worms have the capability to open "back-doors," thus we are likely to see this sort of activity increase in
frequency and severity. The network of infected computers will be the vector of choice for attacks in the future. The nature of this method of
distribution makes the individual or group responsible very difficult to trace, and allows the new malicious programs to spread with frightening
speed. The very destructive "Witty" worm was released onto the Internet using a network of "Zombie PCs" which allowed it to spread world-wide in
under an hour.
Statistics on the total amount of spam circulating on the Internet vary, but the general consensus is that 60% to 80% of emails sent daily are
unsolicited commercial messages. When you factor in those messages that are generated my mass-mailing worms, you will quickly come to realize that the
vast majority of electronic messages are JUNK - often dangerous junk!
The best defense is taking a multi-layered approach to computer security. Make sure your computer is up-to-date on security patches. Run an antivirus
program with current signature files. Scan your computer frequently for Spyware. Use a firewall to guard your Internet connection.
Related News Links
Related ATS discussion
Internet worm epidemic worse than suspected
SCI/TECH: 'Witty' Worm Attacks Firewalls
Heads up! New Virus/Worm?
[edit on 28-1-2005 by Banshee]