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The malspam security products miss: Emotet, Ursnif, and a spammer's blunder

The set-up of the VBSpam test lab gives us a unique insight into the kinds of emails that are more likely to bypass email filters. This week we look at the malspam that was missed: a very international email with a link serving Emotet, an Italian Ursnif c…
This blog post was put together in collaboration with VB test engineers Adrian Luca and Ionuţ Răileanu. Virus Bulletin uses email feeds provided by Abusix and Project Honey Pot.… https://www.virusbulletin.com/blog/2019/02/malspam-security-products-miss-emotet-ursnif-and-spammers-blunder/

From Amazon to Emotet: a look at those phishing and malware emails that bypassed email security products

We see a lot of spam in the VBSpam test lab, and we also see how well such emails are being blocked by email security products. Recently some of the emails that bypassed security products included a broken Amazon phishing campaign, a large fake UPS campai…
This blog post was put together in collaboration with VB test engineers Adrian Luca and Ionuţ Răileanu. On this blog, we regularly look at those phishing and malware emails… https://www.virusbulletin.com/blog/2019/02/amazon-ups-emotet-formbook-and-lokibot-look-those-phishing-and-malware-emails-bypassed-email-security-products/

From HSBC to product descriptions: the malicious emails bypassing your filters

Using data from our VBSpam lab, we looked at the malicious emails that have been missed recently by a large number of email security products.
Over a one-week period earlier this month, the average email with a malicious attachment was almost three times as likely to bypass email security products than a spam email… https://www.virusbulletin.com/blog/2019/01/hsbc-product-descriptions-malicious-emails-bypassing-your-filters/

The spam that is hardest to block is often the most damaging

We see a lot of spam in the VBSpam test lab, and we also see how well such emails are being blocked by email security products. Worryingly, it is often the emails with a malicious attachment or a phishing link that are most likely to be missed.
This blog post was put together in collaboration with VB test engineers Adrian Luca and Ionuţ Răileanu. In a talk I gave at IRISSCON last year (the video of which you will find… https://www.virusbulletin.com/blog/2019/01/spam-hardest-block-often-most-damaging/

Emotet trojan starts stealing full emails from infected machines

The infamous Emotet trojan has added the capability to steal full email bodies from infected machines, opening the possibilities for more targeted spam and phishing campaigns.
Researchers at Kryptos Logic have discovered that the Emotet banking trojan is exfiltrating entire email bodies as opposed to merely email addresses. Emotet was first discovered… https://www.virusbulletin.com/blog/2018/10/emotet-trojan-starts-stealing-full-emails-infected-machines/

Spam is mostly noise and that makes measuring it very difficult

A brief analysis by Recorded Future suggests that the volume of spam and new domain registrations hasn't increased since the GDPR came into effect.
A recent blog post published by Recorded Future looked at the possible effect of the GDPR on the volume of spam and concludes there has been no noticeable impact. The question… https://www.virusbulletin.com/blog/2018/09/spam-mostly-noise-and-makes-measuring-it-complicated/

Necurs update reminds us that the botnet cannot be ignored

The operators of the Necurs botnet, best known for being one of the most prolific spam botnets of the past few years, have pushed out updates to its client, which provide some important lessons about why malware infections matter.
If, at some point in the past few years, you have looked at a spam campaign in which a lot of emails were being sent from Vietnam or India, there's a good chance the spam was sent… https://www.virusbulletin.com/blog/2018/07/necurs-update-reminds-us-botnet-cannot-be-ignored/

We are more ready for IPv6 email than we may think

Though IPv6 is gradually replacing IPv4 on the Internet's network layer, email is lagging behind, the difficulty in blocking spam sent over IPv6 cited as a reason not to move. But would we really have such a hard time blocking spam sent over IPv6?
In email security circles, IPv6 is the elephant in the room. While the transition from IPv4 to IPv6 is a relatively smooth affair for most of the Internet, and few people will… https://www.virusbulletin.com/blog/2018/06/we-are-more-ready-ipv6-email-we-may-think/

Expired domain led to SpamCannibal's blacklist eating the whole world

The domain of the little-used SpamCannibal DNS blacklist had expired, resulting in it effectively listing every single IP address.
The first line of defence in many a spam filter is to query one or more DNS blacklists to see if the sender's IP address (and sometimes their domain) is listed as a known spammer.… https://www.virusbulletin.com/blog/2018/05/expired-domain-led-spamcannibal-blacklisting-whole-world/

Tendency for DDoS attacks to become less volumetric fits in a wider trend

CDN provider Cloudflare reports an increase in DDoS attacks targeting layer 7 and focusing on exhausting server resources rather than sending large volumes of data. This fits in a wider trend.
A current trend sees DDoS attacks focusing less on large volume attacks and more on attacks that exhaust server resources, Cloudflare reports. The number of layer 7 attacks per… https://www.virusbulletin.com/blog/2018/05/tendency-ddos-attacks-become-less-volumetric-fits-wider-trend/

Using Mailchimp makes malware campaigns a little bit more successful

In recent months, some malicious spam campaigns have been spreading via the systems of Mailchimp, a well-known email service provider - a tactic which may give the campaigns a slightly higher success rate.
Sending one email is easy. Sending thousands or millions of emails is hard: one effect of the anti-spam infrastructure we have collectively built is that the process of sending… https://www.virusbulletin.com/blog/2018/03/using-mailchimp-makes-malware-campaigns-little-bit-more-successful/

Necurs pump-and-dump spam campaign pushes obscure cryptocurrency

A Necurs pump-and-dump spam campaign pushing the lesser known Swisscoin botnet is mostly background noise for the Internet.
Cryptocurrencies have attracted the attention of cybercriminals for many years: as a relatively anonymous payment channel, as a target of their digital theft, and as a way to turn… https://www.virusbulletin.com/blog/2018/01/necurs-pump-and-dump-spam-campaign-pushes-obscure-cryptocurrency/

VB2017 paper: Peering into spam botnets

At VB2017 in Madrid, CERT Poland researchers Maciej Kotowicz and Jarosław Jedynak presented a paper detailing their low-level analysis of five spam botnets. Today we publish their full paper.
Spam continues to be an important infection vector for many malware campaigns, but while a lot of attention is paid to the payloads delivered by these campaigns – Andrew Brandt's… https://www.virusbulletin.com/blog/2017/12/vb2017-paper-peering-spam-botnets/

Massive data breach confirms what you already knew: you are getting spam

A security researcher found more than 700 million email addresses stored on a server used by a spam botnet, which gives us some insight into what the email lists used by spammers look like.
The security community spends a lot of time and effort researching the infrastructure used by spammers to send billions of unwanted and often malicious emails every day – but… https://www.virusbulletin.com/blog/2017/09/massive-data-breach-confirms-what-you-already-knew-you-are-getting-spam/

ROPEMAKER email exploit is of limited practical use

Researchers at Mimecast have published a paper about the 'ROPEMAKER' exploit, which allows an email sender with malicious intentions to change the visial appearance of an email after it has been delivered.
Researchers at Mimecast have published details (pdf) of an email exploit they call 'ROPEMAKER' (short for 'Remotely Originated Post-delivery Email Manipulation Attacks Keeping… https://www.virusbulletin.com/blog/2017/08/ropemaker-email-exploit-limited-practical-use/

Throwback Thursday: Ten memorable Virus Bulletin conference presentations - part 1

In a two-part blog post series, we look back at ten memorable VB conference presentations from the past ten years.
With an excellent conference programme (and still some gaps to fill!), we have much to look forward to when it comes to VB2017, the 27th Virus Bulletin conference. But we also… https://www.virusbulletin.com/blog/2017/08/throwback-thursday-ten-memorable-virus-bulletin-conference-presentations-part-1/

Book review: Spam: A Shadow History of the Internet

VB Editor Martijn Grooten reviews Finn Brunton's book 'Spam: A Shadow History of the Internet'.
This review, by VB Editor Martijn Grooten, was originally published in the Journal of the International Committee for the History of Technology (ICON). It is republished with… https://www.virusbulletin.com/blog/2017/06/book-review-spam-shadow-history-internet/

Mostly blocked, but still good enough: Necurs sending pump-and-dump spam

The Necurs botnet has started sending pump-and-dump spam. Almost all of these emails are blocked by spam filters, yet the stock price still increased.
Over the past few days, the Necurs spam botnet has increased its activity, sending large amounts of pump-and-dump spam, in which a cheap stock is pushed with the aim of making a… https://www.virusbulletin.com/blog/2017/03/mostly-blocked-still-good-enough-necurs-sending-pump-and-dump-spam/

Throwback Thursday: Legal attempts to reduce spam. A UK perspective

This Throwback Thursday, we turn the clock back to November 2003, when spam was such a hot topic that VB decided to launch a dedicated 'VB Spam Supplement'.
This Throwback Thursday, we turn the clock back to November 2003, when spam was such a hot topic that VB decided to launch a dedicated 'VB Spam Supplement'. While, today, spam is a… https://www.virusbulletin.com/blog/2015/11/throwback-thursday-legal-attempts-reduce-spam-uk-perspective/

Full house in VB's latest spam filter test

All participating full solutions earn VBSpam certification, while little delay is observed in spam filters.
All participating full solutions earn VBSpam certification, while little delay is observed in spam filters. There is good news for those who rely on spam filters — which means… https://www.virusbulletin.com/blog/2015/11/full-house-vb-s-latest-spam-filter-test/

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