Something strange has happened – while overall traffic to this blog has risen gradually, the amount of blog spam has dropped off rather dramatically. Puzzling. Clearly blog spam is 99%+ automated; I wonder if spammers target a new system, eventually determine that the spam is getting filtered, and stop pointing the bots at that url because it’s fruitless. Seems unlikely but I’m hard-pressed for another explanation, unless Akismet stats are complete bunk.
Pump-and-dump email spam is on a tear these days – that’s the email that purports to offer a tip that a particular penny stock (usually) is about to take off. Of course the spammer has purchase a ton of it and hopes to engender a quick runup based on spam recipients buying in. As soon as the price spikes, the spammer dumps his shares. He turns a quick profit but the price drops as his shares hit the market, and the victims are left holding the bag. Pump-and-dump has been around for ages but is easier and quicker to execute using email.
Here’s a cool visual explanation of image spam and how these messages (often used for these pump-and-dump schemes) dodge your spam filter.
Writing about security is both fascinating and occasionally depressing.