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Adjusting to new broadcast storms – ExchangeDefender Network Operations

May 18, 2017

Adjusting to new broadcast storms

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 11:15 am

As you may have noticed from time to time the amount of SPAM flowing in randomly explodes. And typically it’s the obvious stuff such as: “My Belly Fat Just Disappeared..”

As much as I am personally interested in the mirracle that lead to this, our clients pay us not to have their business interrupted by junk mail with such headings. But how are they getting around the filters that should clearly filter that out by subject alone? Simple, they exploited a limitation in the amount of data we would scan in each message to determine if it was SPAM. Because spammers have limited resources on compromised systems, it was difficult for them to send out messages with large attachments. Fast foward to 2017, such limits are largely trivial and bypass majority of SPAM filtering solutions that have this limit in place because it becomes extremely expensive to filter very large attachments. Without getting specific (and giving spammers a way to circumvent it) we’ve made some adjustments to compensate for this new SPAM botnet vector and you will start to see much better results as a result. As with everything SPAM related, it takes a day or so for the adjustments to show impact in the wild but things should start getting much better. In addition to that, we have some new stuff in the mix that should make responding to these broadcast storms much easier to address.

I know you’ve heard about the WeCry/Wcry ransomware variant but the same SMB 1.0 exploit that was used to deliver the ransomware has been used to create a new set of SPAM nodes. You can make way more than $300 / system in SPAM broadcasts than you can in ransomware payments so this should complicate matters for some time to come. Nevertheless, we will stay vigilent and keep on making SPAM a fruitless venture.

If you have clients complaining about SPAM, make sure they 1) Have their settings to store/store quarantine/quarantine and never deliver anything (you’d be surprised that 90% of the SPAM reports we receive were properly filtered out by ExchangeDefender as SPAM) 2) Make sure they have the Outlook addin installed to report SPAM and 3) Forward anything you get, no matter how trivial, with headers, to spam@ExchangeDefender.com. Let your users know that we regularly communicate back as analytics@ExchangeDefender.com.

-Vlad

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