Terry Zink's Cyber Security Blog

Discussing Internet security in (mostly) plain English

August, 2008

  • Terry Zink's Cyber Security Blog

    CNN spam

    • 26 Comments
    I've been seeing some CNN spam the past few days, that is, spam in the form of breaking news stories from CNN.com.  Below is a sample: These all look like legitimate news stories, and indeed, they probably are taken straight from an actual CNN news...
  • Terry Zink's Cyber Security Blog

    ZDNet: 1.5m spam emails sent from compromised University accounts

    • 9 Comments
    Box of Meat antispam blog has a link to an article on ZDNet: 1.5m spam emails sent from compromised University accounts .  Some excerpts: “Hackers gained access to the University of Otago staff email server recently and used it to send out...
  • Terry Zink's Cyber Security Blog

    Strengths and weaknesses

    • 9 Comments
    From time to time, I like to reflect upon my own personal strengths and weaknesses.  I may be a spam fighter, but I'm also a professional working within Microsoft and I want grow my entire asset base of skills, not just in spam analysis. You know...
  • Terry Zink's Cyber Security Blog

    How much do spammers actually make?

    • 7 Comments
    Spammer X is an ex-spammer who has written book called "Inside the Spam Cartel: Trade Secrets from the Dark Side."  He's a former spammer who retired in 2004 who has shared many of his tricks of the trade. He presented at the Spam Symposium...
  • Terry Zink's Cyber Security Blog

    29% of Internet users have bought something from their spam

    • 6 Comments
    An article on Directmag reports the following: Twenty nine percent of Internet users have purchased goods from spam emails, according to recent research by online security company Marshal. The most commonly purchased items include sexual enhancement pills...
  • Terry Zink's Cyber Security Blog

    Final post on interview with the spam chief

    • 6 Comments
    Following on from my previous post on my comments on Mark Risher of Yahoo, with whom there was a user interview, I'd like to respond to a couple more of his responses to users. Mindy: What are you recommendations for handling blocks due to complaint volume...
  • Terry Zink's Cyber Security Blog

    Interview with Yahoo spam chief

    • 6 Comments
    A few days ago, Yahoo antispam chief Mark Risher hosted a Q&A session with various users and answered their questions, both pre-submitted and live questions.  I thought I'd chime in and take some selected quotes from the session and add my own...
  • Terry Zink's Cyber Security Blog

    Quickly morphing CNN spam

    • 5 Comments
    The spam outbreak "from" CNN the occurred this past week has morphed into a new breed: It appears that the spammers have learned from previous mistakes because this one is a little slicker. In the body contents, just like the old one it contains...
  • Terry Zink's Cyber Security Blog

    A bit more on the spam chief interview

    • 5 Comments
    Following on from my previous post on the interview with the spam chief at Yahoo, I thought I'd respond to a couple more things that Mark Risher said. bartonas: What is the effect, if any, other than putting it back in my in-box, of me selecting "not...
  • Terry Zink's Cyber Security Blog

    A bit more on ZDnet's article

    • 3 Comments
    Referring again back to the article about 29% of internet users buying stuff from there spam, here's another excerpt which is less controversial: Research and Content Engineering) security team, indicates that global spam volumes doubled for the year...
  • Terry Zink's Cyber Security Blog

    A slightly unusual spam

    • 2 Comments
    I have a Windows Live Space blog that I update somewhat less frequently than I update this one.  I rarely get comments on that one, either.  But once in a while I do. It's linked to my Hotmail account which I have had for years.  I rarely...
  • Terry Zink's Cyber Security Blog

    CEO of Nigeria gets a solicitation from the Fed Chairman

    • 1 Comments
    I came across this parody of a 419 while reading a financial blog.  In lieu of the current financial atmosphere of the United States, I thought it was very amusing. FROM: Dr Ben Bernanke Central Bank of United States of America 01-658-555-1234 TO...
  • Terry Zink's Cyber Security Blog

    Follow up on strengths and weaknesses

    • 1 Comments
    As a follow up from my previous post, I've calmed down a bit and started to regain my calm, Zen-like demeanor. I have not managed to get the new filter out there.  However, I have devised a scheme wherein we can monitor potential FPs closely. ...
  • Terry Zink's Cyber Security Blog

    Update on CNN spam

    • 1 Comments
    A quick update on CNN spam, they have morphed their subject lines and are now breaking news alerts for MSNBC.  I haven't seen any personally (nor did I receive a phone call at 3 am alerting me to this) but others on our spam team have.  Apparently...
  • Terry Zink's Cyber Security Blog

    A bit more on spammer economics

    • 1 Comments
    Not content to let the ZDnet article go away, I still have a bit more to say about spammer economics.  Sam Masiello of MXLogic writes on his blog some estimates about how much money a spammer makes and what his potential return on investment is using...
  • Terry Zink's Cyber Security Blog

    Fake charity names?

    • 1 Comments
    Spamwars reports that the SANS Internet Storm Center have reported a number of domain names containing the word "gustav" are being registered.  In case you are unaware, Hurricane Gustav is the latest hurricane that threatens to pummel the...
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