SOURCE: BitDefender

BitDefender

February 20, 2009 09:15 ET

BitDefender's Spam Omelette Spotlights "EMAIL" Once Again as Top Spam Word in Weekly Analysis of E-Threat Trends

Week 14: "EMAIL" Used in Two Distinct Spam Campaigns

BUCHAREST, ROMANIA--(Marketwire - February 20, 2009) - The word "EMAIL" has been identified once again as the top spam word in Spam Omelette 14, BitDefender's weekly review on spam and the latest industry trends. Spam Omelette is part of MalwareCity.com, which is supported by BitDefender®, an award-winning provider of antivirus software and data security solutions.

In week 14 of Spam Omelette, the top spam words include:

1. EMAIL -- Ranking first in this week's Spam Omelette, the word "EMAIL" has been detected by BitDefender spam researchers in two distinct spam campaigns. "EMAIL" has been identified in unsolicited mail messages advertising natural pills for body fortification, and unlike previous spam waves in the medical sector, this template does not use images or the conventional footer disclaimer. Additionally, the embedded unsubscribe link does not work.

The second spam wave using the word "E-MAIL" has been identified in unsolicited emails offering miracle jobs that promise an immediate fortune. However, the jobs being offered generally involve fencing and money laundering and require applicants to send and receive money or goods obtained through credit card fraud, leaving the real offenders unidentified.

2. PLEASE -- Ranking second in Spam Omelette 14, the word "PLEASE" has been identified in a classic Nigerian scam letter. This type of message aims to gain the user's confidence in order to gather personal identification information such as full name, home address and bank account number. As a rule of thumb, if a user receives an email from an unknown sender that seems too good to be true, they should not respond and delete the email immediately.

3. PAYPAL -- Ranking third in Spam Omelette is the word "PAYPAL," which has been detected in spam messages advertising the sale of email address databases. Online marketing is known for its efficiency and low cost, which has transformed email addresses into a commodity for miscellaneous underground industries. According to the message, a spammer can purchase an 8,000-entry database for as low as $14.00 USD, which explains why users' email Inboxes are flooded by spam.

4. CLICK -- The word "CLICK" ranks fourth this week and is being used in a spam wave that promotes sexual enhancement drugs. The unsolicited message relies on both text and ASCII graphic representations in order to deliver the message to its recipient. It is an approach meant to prevent content filtering scanners and signature-based engines from detecting the word VIAGRA.

5. NEW -- The word "NEW" ranks last in Spam Omelette 14 and has been detected in messages advertising college degrees. Using the current economic crisis as a ploy, users are asked to provide their full name and authorize a fund transfer to a specified bank account in exchange for an accredited diploma, which is nothing more than a sheet of paper issued by a private institution with no academic recognition.

To read the entire Spam Omelette # 14, please visit MalwareCity.com.

To create Spam Omelette, BitDefender analyzes approximately 7 million spam messages collected through BitDefender's worldwide network of "honey pots." A honey pot is an e-mail address that is only used to collect spam. The large number of analyzed messages and the global distribution of honey pots ensure reliable results.

The resulting map provides visual cues for understanding what the new trends in spam messages are, while providing significant insight to researchers on the current spam campaigns.

About BitDefender®

BitDefender is the creator of one of the industry's fastest and most effective lines of internationally certified security software. Since its inception in 2001, BitDefender has continued to raise the bar and set new standards in proactive threat prevention. Every day, BitDefender protects tens of millions of home and corporate users across the globe -- giving them the peace of mind of knowing that their digital experiences will be secure. BitDefender solutions are distributed by a global network of value-added distribution and reseller partners in more than 100 countries worldwide. More information about BitDefender and its products are available at the company's security solutions press room. Additionally, BitDefender's www.malwarecity.com provides background and the latest updates on security threats helping users stay informed in the everyday battle against malware.