Spammers are going green

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Spammers have taken advantage of an e-mail marketing campaign that Central Bank, a Missouri-based bank, ran promoting green awareness, according to alerts from e-mail services firm MessageLabs.

Spammers pretending to be from the bank modeled an e-mail from Central Bank pushing the bank's new initiative to go green. E-mail services firm MessageLabs stopped 66 of these phishing e-mails between May 7-9 and a total of 580 phishes to date in May.

“They are piggybacking on an actual campaign that the Central Bank of Missouri has already been running,” said Paul Wood, senior analyst, MessageLabs. “Because it is a local state bank, customers may not be used to double opt-in that you see from bigger national banks.”

According to Wood, the e-mail was traced to a computer from within the Stanford University network, but the IP address of the phishing site belongs to a machine connected to the Taiwanese Educational Network.

Phishing attacks often happen when an unsuspecting computer becomes infected with a virus, often from opening up a spam message. It then becomes a botnet, which unknowingly sends out spam.

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