Contrary to popular opinion, spam is not dead. This once ubiquitous fraud technique yielded considerable profits for fraudsters, yet has not evolved much since its inception. As a result, cyber criminals have not seen the financial results once typical of this technique. There is, however, a new kid on the block in the spam fraud community that claims to be able to make spam profitable again.
After a new fraud-as-a-service capability called PsycheR4 was introduced in an online cyber crime community, it became clear that fraudsters are still heavily investing in spam. This basic fraud technique has gained new momentum, offering spam-sending services for rent through server-side access to a powerful botnet, the performance of which is optimized for spam.
Launched in an online fraud forum, PsycheR4 claims to achieve more than eight times the market average of spam distribution per hour. According to the forum post, the market average for traditional spam email tools is around 10 million spam emails per hour. This tool claims to send up to 88 million emails per hour with just one botnet containing 7,000 bots. According to the forum post, it costs $2,000 a month to rent spam-as-a-service.
This new version of spam is seen as the next evolution in growing profits for spammers. According to the translation of the offering, this spam-as-service technique offers unique capabilities in “speed and delivery.” To quote the translation, “The maximum speed of email sending reaches more than 8,000 emails per second. This is the highest speed of email sending spam solutions available in the market today.”
The Future of Spamming
Companies and financial institutions face attacks across a number of areas, including spam emails directing users to fraudulent websites or phishing attacks. With this recent introduction of spam-sending services for rent, it is clear that spam remains a security concern and fraudsters are investing in methods to continue to evolve, and profit heavily from, spam.
Trusteer delivers capabilities to detect and prevent attacks from suspected phishing sites initiated through channels such as spam. IBM Security Trusteer solutions protect hundreds of organizations with a holistic, integrated fraud-prevention platform that mitigates fraud risk and helps organizations maximize adoption of online channels and protect their customers’ assets, their brand and the overall customer experience.
Sr. Product Marketing Manager, IBM Security
Eileen Turner serves as a Senior Product Marketing Manager for the web fraud portfolio of Trusteer, an IBM Company, part of IBM’s Security Systems division...