SOURCE: Marshal

April 21, 2008 09:20 ET

Marshall Identifies New Spam Trick That Claims, "We Caught You Naked"

Srizbi botnet Now Generating 45 Percent of All Spam

ATLANTA, GA--(Marketwire - April 21, 2008) - A new outbreak of spam featuring personalized subject lines claiming that you have been caught on video naked is hitting inboxes worldwide, Marshal's TRACE Team announced today.

The newest malicious spam campaign is being sent from the Srizbi botnet and includes a clickable link in the email. The subject line of the spam message reads "we caught you naked [your name]! check the video." The message itself contains only a link that falsely claims to be a video of you naked. In reality, your PC becomes a member of the Srizbi botnet.

"This is a simple but clever form of social engineering," said Bradley Anstis, vice president of Products at Marshal. "It is personalized by taking the name component of your email address and inserting it into the spam subject line. It is not a new trick by spammers, but it is proven to get your attention."

"In addition, the message seeks to embarrass you by claiming to have video footage of you naked. The spammers are clearly hoping to shock unsuspecting recipients into investigating this compromising footage. In their haste to look into the claim, some people might not consider that the link in the message leads to malware," explained Anstis.

According to Marshal, the Srizbi botnet is responsible for sending out the new spam. Marshal identifies the Srizbi botnet as the largest spam-sending botnet currently on the Internet, responsible for 45 percent of all spam caught by Marshal's TRACE Team. Other researchers have identified Srizbi as the world's largest current botnet, comprising 315,000 bots and responsible for an estimated 60 billion spam messages per day.

"We consider Srizbi the biggest current spam threat," said Anstis. "In December last year, we attributed 20 percent of the spam we caught to Srizbi and now it is more than double that. It is also more than double the next biggest botnet in terms of its spam volume. We have observed individual Srizbi bots sending as much as 8,000 spam messages per hour."

"The Storm botnet still garners the lion's share of the media's attention and it was certainly a major pioneer in botnet development, but today it is responsible for just one percent spam," he continued. "The biggest lesson that Storm taught spammers was the power of simple social engineering as a means of infecting computers and propagating your botnet. The simplest tricks are the best and this new one certainly fits the criteria."

More information on Srizbi and other spam botnets can be found on the TRACE Center: http://www.marshal.com/trace/.

About the Marshal TRACE Team

TRACE (Threat Research and Content Engineering) is a group of Marshal security analysts who constantly monitor and respond to Internet security threats through the TRACE website at www.marshal.com/trace. TRACE services are provided as part of standard product maintenance that includes updates to Marshal's unique, proprietary anti-spam technology, SpamCensor. TRACE analyzes spam, phishing and Internet security trends and provides frequent automated updates to Marshal customers. It also provides "Zero Day" security protection against new email and virus exploits the day they emerge.

About Marshal

Marshal is a global leader in content security across multiple protocols, enabling organizations to secure their IT environment, protect against threats and comply with corporate governance needs. Marshal provides customers with a complete portfolio of policy-driven email and Internet solutions that integrate content filtering, compliance, secure messaging and archiving. Forty percent of the Global Fortune 500 companies use Marshal security solutions to secure their corporate messaging networks and Web access against internal abuse and external threats such as viruses, spam and malicious code. More than 7 million users in over 18,000 companies worldwide use Marshal solutions to protect their networks, employees, business assets and corporate reputation and to comply with corporate governance legislation requirements.

Marshal's Americas headquarters is in Atlanta, Georgia, with corporate headquarters in London (UK) and offices in Auckland (New Zealand), Houston (USA), Johannesburg (South Africa), Munich (Germany), Paris (France) and Sydney (Australia). More information is available at www.marshal.com.

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