No Spam Slammers Block All Spam All Of The Time

Even with spam slammers in place, the danger for us is that by just getting spam in our inboxes, we may inadvertently trigger malicious code (malware), such as viruses, worms, Trojans and spyware.

This can happen by opening an attachment, opening the email, or even just previewing the mail.

"But that shouldn't happen if I've got antispam installed", is a frequent response.

Well, although spam slammers -- also known as spam blockers, antispam, etc -- will filter spam, you've probably experienced the fact that your spam slammer will sometimes allow spam into your inbox.

That's because none of the spam slammers can guarantee to stop all spam, every time.

Whether you have a spam slammer installed or not, once you read here about the malware infestation of your PC that spam can cause, I guarantee you'll be much more careful about what's lurking in your inbox in the future.

What's more, there are supporting articles -- at the bottom of the page -- that will show you how to have the best protection against spam and its dangers, to give you peace of mind when dealing with your mail.

Okay. It's time to look at just what those spam dangers are...


1. Spam Slammers... Spam And Crackers

The distinction between spammers and crackers (malicious hackers) has become less obvious. Many spammers have incorporated into their emails malicious code used by crackers, such as Trojans. These target computer vulnerabilities and gain access to, or control, our PCs.

Spammers are then able to steal personal information, set up DDOS (denial of service) attacks on other computers -- or, even use the computer as a spam zombie to spew out more spam.

80 percent of spam e-mail messages originate from home computers that have been secretly recruited by spammers into their zombie PC network. For more information on zombie PCs, take a look at Botnets And Your Zombie PC Fix.

If spammers can't be bothered to write their own malicious code, there are plenty of virus writers willing to sell the IP addresses of PCs infected with Trojans. The spammer can then remotely use these computers without the knowledge of their owners.


2. Spam Slammers... Identity Theft And Fraud

Internet identity theft and fraud is growing in frequency. An increasing type is the "phishing" scam, which continues to surge through inboxes. Less is known about the technique of "pharming", so let's discuss them both...

Spam Slammers... Phishing

Phishing scams appear to be authentic emails from banks, ISPs and merchants. They direct us to a fake web site for the company the email is pretending to represent. The web site requests personal information, such as credit card, bank account, PIN, or Social Security number.

The phishers then use this information to withdraw money from the victim's account, make purchases, or use their identity for something else illegal.

For more information and how to protect yourself, there is an article on Phishing And How To Block It.

Spam Slammers... Pharming

Internet identity theft through pharming is a great deal different than phishing. It is of increasing concern to business and website owners as well as consumers.

In pharming, an unscrupulous programmer cracks a vulnerability in an ISP's (Internet Service Provider) DNS server and hijacks the domain name of a commercial site. Anyone going to that site is then redirected to an identical but bogus site. Once the traffic is redirected, unsuspecting site users may enter personal information, such as a password, PIN number or account number.

There is a link with phishing in that you may open a phishing email that contains a genuine company link -- your bank, for instance -- but once you arrive, you are redirected to the pharming website. Here, unsuspectingly, you'll enter your username, password, PIN, account number, etc, which the pharmers then use to access your real account.

For a lot more information on identity theft -- after you've finished here -- head on over to Software Protection For Internet And IP Address Identity Theft.


3. Spam Slammers... Spam, Viruses And Spyware

95 percent of all viruses are sent through email. Many viruses and worms, such as Sobig-F, use spam techniques. They propagate after being triggered when the user views the email and then mail themselves to everyone in the user's address book.

Spam is often used to deliver spyware. Spyware can be loaded on to a PC when users click ads and links in spam mail. With some spyware, it can be loaded even if you look at spam email in the preview pane. This mechanism of loading spyware, without the user's knowledge, is known as a 'drive-by download'.

Some types of spyware can just be annoying, whilst others are downright malicious. For more detailed information about the threats from spyware and how to combat it, go to the section, Review On Spyware And Adware Removal.


4. Spam Slammers... Web Bugs

Spammers have the ability to track when a recipient views and opens their email. They do this by planting a web bug within an HTML email.

A web bug is an image file -- usually a 1x1 pixel -- and when the e-mail is opened, the recipient's mail program downloads the graphic from the spammer's web server. The spammer's server detects that the web bug is being viewed -- or even just previewed -- and so lets the spammer know that this email address is genuine and in use... ensuring that the address stays on the spam list.

If you wonder how spammers get to know your address in the first place, read, Keeping Off Spam Lists.


As the majority of infected PCs are home users who lack the knowledge to guard privacy and online security, you may feel it useful to learn more about these spam threats and to use the tips and information to block it that you'll find in the following articles...


5. Spam Slammers... Supporting Articles

  1. The Best Spam Blockers To Protect You From Spam Dangers
  2. What Does Spam Stand For?
  3. The Four Types Of Spam Slammers
  4. Practical Steps To Improve the Effectiveness Of Your Commercial Or Free Antispam Blocker
  5. Software Steps To Improve the Effectiveness Of Your Commercial Or Free Antispam Blocker
  6. How To Spam Spammers
  7. Spam Spammers With MailWasher Pro
  8. Reduce The Load Of Your Spam Slammers By Keeping Off Spam Lists
  9. Phishing And How To Block It: Part 1
  10. Phishing And How To Block It: Part 2
  11. Botnets And Your Zombie PC Fix

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