SPAM on the Rise Globally

We highlighted the release of The 2017 Cisco Annual Cybersecurity report in our blog post a few weeks back. Today, SPAM is on the menu and the same Cisco report serves up some very interesting insights into the growth of global spam.

According to the report:

  • 65% of all email globally is spam
  • 8-10% of spam in 2016 was malicious. More troubling however is that 75% of spam in October, 2016 contained malicious attachments
  • From August to October 2016 there was a dramatic rise in the number of IP addresses deemed spammy and subsequent blocked
  • Cisco researchers attribute much of the rise of spam in 2016 to the Necurs botnet ( a primary distributor of the Locky ransomare


Konsultek Knows Spam

Spam is problematic for every organization. In its most benign form the sheer volume of spam can overload inboxes and waste valuable employee time. In its most malignant form spam can trick employees into inviting malware into networks or even sending funds to cybercriminals masquerading as suppliers.

At Konsultek, spam is just one of things we take of the buffet of cyber threats so that your employees, your organization and your network are protected. If you are interested in learning more about how we can help your organization please give us a call.


Mega Spammer Leaks 1.37 Billion Emails

Monday morning, March 6, 2017 started off with a teaser announcement from data breach storm chaser Chris Vickery over at MacOS security software specialists MacKeeper. The announcement stated that later in the morning the identity of a breach victim with 1.37 BILLION records compromised would be identified.

Wow 1.37 Billion is a LOT of records! For perspective, there are only about 300 Million people in the whole United States. A breach of that size can only happen to an organization that either has a lot of individual users/customers, a large government agency or perhaps a large scale data aggregator.

The Internet was immediately on fire with speculation as to who might have been breached… Facebook? Salesforce? Apple? Alibaba?

Well, a few hours later the mystery was solved when Chris Vickery revealed on the MacOS blog that the “victim” was one of the largest email spammers in the world! Wow, no one had that on their radar.


The spammers, who position themselves as legitimate marketers under the name River City Media, use automation and hacking techniques to send out an estimated 1 Billion emails a day with a team that numbers around a dozen. While everyone despises spam email, at some level you have to admire the sheer spamming scale that Alvin Slocombe and Matt Ferris, the River City Media principles, were able to operate at.


Another Dark Day for Privacy

In addition to emails, the database contains real names, IP addresses and frequently physical addresses. It would appear that these details may be headed over to law enforcement authorities so “big brother” just got a huge windfall.

Kudos to the Spam Assassins

You can bet that this is only the beginning of the story and that much more will come to light in the months ahead. Certainly all the investigators involved, MacKeeper Security Research Center, CSOOnline, and Spamhaus deserve a huge helping of kudos for clearing up, at least a little bit, the inboxes of over a billion spam victims in one fell swoop.

How Secure is Your Network?

You would think that a group of professional spammers would have appreciated and deployed the best security measures possible. It just goes to show that any operation, illegal or otherwise can be brought to a screeching halt when a data breach occurs.

Don’t let something like this happen to your organization!

Get proactive on challenging your own network security before it is too late.  From executive assessments to vulnerability discovery and breach simulation Konsultek can help. Give us a call to find out how we can help you identify and quantify your network security risks in a proactive manner.


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