According to AppRiver the security company, a prominent spam outbreak is exploiting Yahoo Groups as also other non-chargeable web utilities like LiveJournal and Google Groups.
The technique in the new spam campaign, though isn't one of utilizing bots for the delivery of the spam messages, yet according to security investigators, it is proving to be relatively successful. For, it utilizes automation processes towards setting up new accounts on the said sites, sometimes cracking CAPTCHA, senior security analyst Fred Touchette at AppRiver said that SCMagazineUS.com reported on July 23, 2009.
Thereafter spammers create an e-mail account on Gmail or Hotmail which is free and from there, dispatch their e-mails containing links. Moreover, approximately 1 million spam mails are being pushed out every hour that touts pharmaceutical advertisements, the researchers said.
Further, the e-mails' links aren't connecting to anything malicious, rather they are only projecting advertisements, Touchette said. Nevertheless, it is unanimously believed that these ad websites are in fact scams. Touchette stated, sometimes the sites would deliver a product, but one can't be sure about its genuineness.
According to AppRiver, the type of spam campaign being used lets the spammers towards taking advantage of Yahoo and others' high reputation, while steering clear of blacklisting.
Meanwhile, in a post on its company blog, AppRiver wrote that since the mentioned e-mail services are easily available and rather convenient to abuse it allows such obscure spamming activities to turn out a workable business.
Conversely, while this technique of spam is only a small part of the total spam, as botnet-spewed spam makes for an average of 90%-95% of overall spam, security investigators since long have been tracing the employment of automatic programs towards creating hosting accounts for spam distribution.
In the meantime, there have been similar campaigns earlier; however, in the recent one during July 21-22, 2009, spammers have drastically enhanced their activities, blasting spam at the rate of 17,000 messages per minute.
Moreover similarly during 2008, spammers created Google Docs accounts for storing spam links and images, abusing Google's almost unlimited storage capacity along with high bandwidth that can handle any significant amount of spam-generated traffic.