Latin America is spam, trojan distributor, says Neosecure

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Latin America, along with other regions, is being used for distributing trojan viruses by sending millions of spam messages to inboxes, Chilean IT security solutions provider Neosecure's service deputy manager, Álvaro Lillo, told BNamericas.

The spam, Lillo said, hides trojans whose "mission" is to infect millions of PCs.

"For the last two weeks, we've seen in the region a spam message offering jobs to people. They ask you if you have a bank account and they promise to pay you a large amount of money. The only goal of this is to reach as many computers as possible to infect them with trojans," the executive said.

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Although spam's traditional use as a way of sending information or advertising to inboxes has not increased compared to previous years, the use of botnets has, he said.

"There are malicious users that are using botnets to infect millions of PCs with trojans. This means that someone could be controlling your home PC to send spam," Lillo said.

According to Neosecure, inboxes can get as much as 80% spam a day, forcing companies to find ways to protect their systems by filtering senders and content. But, Lillo said, no technology is capable of filtering all spam.

"The best defense is protecting your system with the right technology, but there's no 100% solution to filter all spam. The way to do this is by creating awareness in users, because it's very hard to see if we're filtering everything. Companies should pass on the information inside so employees do not open or follow links from unknown senders."

Recently, Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) offered a US$250,000 reward for new information on the operators of now defunct Russian botnet Rustock, which had been sending spam to users all over the world.

Rustock was able to send some 30bn spam messages a day, including advertising counterfeit or unapproved versions of pharmaceuticals, and violating the trademarks of the pharmaceutical manufacturer Pfizer and Microsoft.