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I am Joannes Vermorel, founder at Lokad. I am also an engineer from the Corps des Mines who initially graduated from the ENS.

I have been passionate about computer science, software matters and data mining for almost two decades. (RSS - ATOM)

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Thursday
May242007

Spam 2.0 or the spammers reloaded

Spammers are legions, and unfortunately, most recent systems are just very weak against adversarial behavior (see my previous discussion on the Google case ).

In the last few months, I have just noticed no less than 4 new kinds of spammers.

Spam 2.0 released, buy now!
  • P2P spam targeting file-sharing applications such as Emule. The basic idea is the following: spread, through the P2P application, a virus that breaks into the P2P application itself. Once the P2P application is infested, all the incoming requests will return the virus wrapped under the name of the incoming query. For example if the incoming request is "some illegal song" then, the infested P2P application will claim the file "some-illegal-song.mp3.exe". Nasty but effective.

  • SMS spam with incentive for the recipients to call a very expensive phone number. Indeed, sending SMS is not free (as far I know); thus you need a strong incentive like "To the owner of 0123456789, you've won a Nitendo Wii, call 987654321 to claim your prize". No need to tell that 987654321 is anything but a tool-free number.

  • Instant Messaging spam targeting applications such a Skype. Actually, I would suspect that some black hat guys managed to pass through the "usual" white-listing systems because I end up, once or twice a day, forcefully connected into huge conference calls (with roughly of 200 people); the spam being sent through the conference canal.

  • Virtual Worlds spam targeting popular MMPORGs such as World of Warcraft. Basically, spammers just start flooding the main discussion canals with commercial links. So far, it was mostly Warcraft-related (like buying Warcraft gold coins with US Dollars), but I suspect that pretty soon, spammers will realize that they are able to sell fake drugs and fake watches on Warcraft too.

Spam has already upgraded toward the version 2.0 but I am still waiting the delayed release of Cypercop 2.0.

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