IronPort warns of spam in news headline e-mails

Share this article:

Spam filtering services firm IronPort warns of a spam virus that has been under way in e-mails with news-titled headlines that began last Thursday.

According to IronPort's Threat Operations the virus is found in e-mails with subject lines that are demographically specific to the recipient, like "230 dead as storm batters Europe" and "British Muslims Genocide." Within the e-mail the reader is instructed to open a video clip to see more, at which point the reader is infected with spy ware.

"This virus uses social engineering techniques to entice users to open up the message," said Dave Mayer, product manager at IronPort, San Bruno, CA. "It rotated ten to twenty different subject lines, each targeted at a different demographic, like the storms in Europe or Saddam Hussein still being alive."

IronPort is still tracking the source, but e-mails have shown up worldwide. IronPort is studying the patterns of the virus with its software, as well as with human eyes.

Mr. Mayer said that viruses typically spike linearly when sent from a central source. But since these e-mails are being sent from zombie computers, host PCs that could have been infected by the virus, the outbreak has spread more rapidly in every direction.

"We saw 300,000 messages sent out to our customers alone in the first three and a half hours that the virus was circulating, which is the largest amount of spam that we've seen in such a short amount of time," Mr. Mayer said.

Share this article:

Sign up to our newsletters

Follow us on Twitter @dmnews

Latest Jobs:

More in Email Marketing

To Send or Not to Send More Email: That Is the Question

To Send or Not to Send More Email: ...

"It's not a matter of 'one email a day is fine, but two emails a day is too much.'"

Forrester: Keep Your Eye on the Email

Forrester: Keep Your Eye on the Email

Merging email with other channels is all well and good, but a Forrester Wave analysis holds that the email channel itself could stand improvement.

Email Opens Have Increased While Clicks Remain Static

Email Opens Have Increased While Clicks Remain Static

Open rates rose to 32.9% in Q1 2014, but clicks haven't changed for the past couple of years, a study says. But why?