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Spam Manages to Outsmart Google

Google uses a technology known as CAPTCHA, or Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart, as a security measure to protect against spam and other Internet fraud. Apparently spammers have learned how to circumvent the technology, as Google originating spam comprised 2.6 percent of all spam e-mail in February 2008. This was up from 1.3 percent of g-mail originated e-mail, doubling the occurrence of spam arriving from g-mail addresses.

Apparently, spammers have created software designed to solve the codes for CAPTCHA, allowing them to defeat the security system approximately 20 percent of the time. This is a security system that was considered difficult to overcome, as was Yahoo’s. Unfortunately, as anti-spam technology becomes more advanced, so do the spammers. Once believed difficult to defeat, Yahoo is now the source of 88.7 percent of all Internet spam. Comparatively, spam from hotmail origins only comprised 4.6 percent of all spam messages, and MSN produced just 4.2 percent.

Once considered safe from spam, g-mail messages must now be treated with the same caution given any other unknown message. If you do not recognize the recipient, do not open the message. Even messages from legitimate businesses can be suspect, though, with phishing scams running rampant on the Internet.

Your best line of defense these days is to employ the use of an advanced anti-spam software such as that offered by ParetoLogic & PC Tools. Spam Controls will scan your messages automatically and quarantine anything that appears to be suspect. They have the highest percentage of detection on the market today, and offer the most comprehensive spam and anti-phishing protection available.

IM and Chat Room Spam

Spam is no longer limited just to e-mail messages. Instant messaging spammers utilize messaging systems such as MSN Messenger, AOL Instant Messenger, or Windows Live Messenger to send out their spam. These services have a user directory that includes demographic information about their users, allowing spammers to sign on and send out unsolicited advertisements to millions of users.

Many spam messages sent to those using a messenger service relay a link to allow the user to rid themselves of spam. When they click on the link, they are given the directions to disable the messenger service for a fee. In reality, the user could disable the messenger service for free, and the spam and associated link are just a scam to gather money or credit card information from unsuspecting victims.

Chat spam may appear in chat rooms or on the chat boards of online games. A single word may be repeated many times with the goal of gaining attention or interfering with the operation of the game. The user is usually swiftly booted from the site.

Spam can be completely innocuous and merely annoying, or it can be the precursor to more dangerous or insidious behaviors including criminal activity. Your best bet to protect yourself is to ignore any message from a source you do not recognize, and to verify any source that asks you for any personal information. Add a layer of protection by installing an advanced anti-spam software on your computer, such as ParetoLogic’s Spam Controls & PC Tools Spam Monitor, which will automatically detect and quarantine any unwanted messages that try to make their way into your inbox.