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Image Spam Persists As A Problem

June 6, 2007

David Utter
6 June 2007

Messaging security firm MessageLabs said image spam accounted for between 15 and 20 percent of the volume of spam seen in May 2007.

phishing attempts have reached a level not seen since December 2006. They accounted for nearly 79 percent of malicious email traffic intercepted during May.

MessageLabs also discussed 'spam spikes', where spammers will attack a particular domain very aggressively for a period of time. One particular domain saw 10,000 messages arrive in an eleven-hour period, they cited as one example.

New techniques in image spam have caused the most concern for MessageLabs researchers. They said spammers have shifted away from embedding images in email messages, and are hosting their images on servers that do not require a registered account to place images on servers.

One image hosting site, Imageshack, was victimized by a spamming group that has been actively using the remote image scheme. "Without registration requirements or validation of image sources on such hosting sites, MessageLabs predicts that this scheme will continue," the report said.



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