Application security

McAfee: Spammers cycling more quickly through domains

Spammers are cycling through more domains per hour and using more URLs used to overwhelm anti-spam defenses, McAfee announced this week.

Usually spam messages contain links to websites where recipients can purchase advertised wares. Because anti-spam companies filter for these URLs, spammers are constantly buying new domains and abandoning old ones to get through spam defenses.

According to a report released by McAfee on spam trends during August, major spam campaigns are going through 72 percent more domains per hour than one month ago. Additionally, McAfee Avert Labs found recently that spammers are using URLs embedded into Microsoft Word documents as a delivery method.

"It's a cat and mouse game where spammers try and change their URLs faster than the anti-spam companies can react," said Guy Roberts, senior development manager at McAfee. "If it takes traditional blacklists 15 to 20 minutes to block a site - that's how fast the spammers need to change their URL. Since domains cost only $6 per registration, the spammer is spending less than $100 for four hours of advertising."

Click here to email West Coast Bureau Chief Ericka Chickowski.

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