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Social Media Spam Up 355% This Year Alone

Facebook, YouTube most prone

(Newser) - Spammers are increasingly setting their sights beyond your email account. In the first half of this year, spam on social media has increased 355%, a new report finds. It's not exactly overwhelming (especially in light of the fact that some 70% of emails sent are spam), but spam accounts... More »

Instagram Under Spam Attack by ... Tropical Fruit

Facebook says it has secured spammed accounts, but you might want to change your password

(Newser) - Instagram has been hit by an attack from spammers promoting a miracle fruit diet. As a result, you may have seen a lot of (artfully filtered) photographs of tropical fruit in your feed today, and if those photos were coming from your account, you're going to need to change... More »

It's a Rough Day for Papa John's

Company faces lawsuit, boycott

(Newser) - One large pepperoni, a text-message scandal, and a boycott on the side, please. Papa John's is in the middle of a big mess on two fronts, one in court and one in the media. Here's a look at both:
  • Papa John's is in the midst of a
... More »

FTC Hangs Up on 'Rachel' Robocalls

Agency gets court to stop calls from fictional worker in 'cardholder services'

(Newser) - Poor Rachel. The FTC is clamping down on five telemarketing firms it says placed illegal robocalls, often claiming to be from a woman named "Rachel" who had an "important message" about high interest rates on credit cards, reports the Chicago Tribune . Yesterday, a federal court ordered a temporary... More »

The World's Worst Spammer Is ...

... India, where 7M new computer users crop up monthly

(Newser) - So you find your morning spam deluge annoying? Well, you can thank India, which has become the world's top sender of spam emails, the Los Angeles Times reports. Its poor law enforcement and burgeoning middle class—which adds about 7 million computers monthly—are largely behind the dubious distinction.... More »

55K Twitter Passwords Leaked

Puzzling hit, but most hacked tied to spammers or dupe accounts

(Newser) - The usernames and passwords of more than 55,000 Twitter tweeters were leaked online Monday in a data dump that has puzzled experts. Twitter says that at least 20,000 of the leaked accounts were duplicates, and many more were spam accounts that had already been suspended, InformationWeek reports. Password... More »

4.5B Spam Texts Flooded Our Phones Last Year

Consumers fume, FTC files lawsuits

(Newser) - Getting spam on your cell phone? You're not alone: Spam text messages in the US soared 45% to 4.5 billion last year, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. "I don't even get that much junk mail in my Gmail account," says a journalist in Washington, DC.... More »

NY Times Mistakenly Sends Email to 9M People

It was apparently just a miscue, not spam

(Newser) - Nearly 9 million people got a puzzling email from the New York Times today, but fears of a massive hack are apparently unfounded. Turns out, it was good old-fashioned human error. The newspaper meant to send the email only to a few hundred people who had recently canceled home delivery,... More »

Inventor of Microsoft's Spam Filter Out to Kill HIV

David Heckerman says spam, HIV present similar challenges

(Newser) - David Heckerman, the man who invented the spam filter for Microsoft, is taking on another scourge against humanity: HIV. Sound like a stretch? It’s not, Heckerman insists: He’s a medical doctor, and HIV and spam are strangely similar problems. "We have an adversarial situation going on between... More »

Facebook Slammed by Massive Porn Attack

Graphic, violent images flood news feeds

(Newser) - Forbes has a warning for you: "You may not want to check Facebook at work today." Why? Because, as numerous outlets are reporting , your news feed may have been inundated with porn and disturbing images thanks to a huge spam attack. One tweet sums it up: "... More »

Spammers Actually Deliver What You Order

Researchers surprised credit cards weren't abused

(Newser) - Researchers probing the world of spam were surprised to discover that the email-box-clogging lowlifes of the Internet aren't quite as scummy as one would expect. The investigators, whose study involved making numerous purchases from spammers, found that the goods ordered—including pills and fake Rolexes—were usually delivered, reports... More »

Finally! Study Discovers Way to Kill Spam

3 financial companies control most spam-prompted card payments

(Newser) - Researchers in California think they’ve found spammers’ weak point—and say it could be used to help kill off the industry. To make their discovery, the researchers spent months trying to attract all the spam they could before buying thousands of dollars worth of products advertised in those emails.... More »

Beware of Links Promising Photos of Dead bin Laden

Unless, you know, it's a link to a Newser story on the topic

(Newser) - Clicking on links that promise to show photos or video of a dead Osama bin Laden is a bad idea, cybersecurity experts warn. Spammers and scammers have moved even faster than usual to spread malicious links aimed at Facebook and Google users, reports the Los Angeles Times . "The bad... More »

20% of Your Facebook Friends Are Strangers

60% are just acquaintances, study finds

(Newser) - A fifth of your Facebook friends are people you don’t even know—and three-fifths are just acquaintances, a study finds. The fact that only 20% of your friends are your actual friends may not come as a surprise to the average Facebook user, notes , but it’s... More »

Spam Levels Plummet Worldwide

Spam down to a quarter of August levels as botnets go quiet

(Newser) - Along with assorted wildlife, there appears to have been a mass die-off of something else: spam emails. Spam levels, which had been dropping steadily since August, plummeted rapidly in late December, reports the BBC . Some 200 billion spam messages were being sent every day in August, but just 50 billion... More »

Meet the Guy Who Sues Spammers for a Living

Daniel Balsam is doing his part to clean up the Internet

(Newser) - Eight years ago, Daniel Balsam quit his job as a marketer and went to law school—all so that he could make a living by suing email spammers. "I feel like I'm doing a little bit of good cleaning up the Internet," says Balsam, who has racked up... More »

17-Year-Old: I Caused Twitter Meltdown

'I did it merely to see if it could be done,' says Pearce Delphin

(Newser) - Remember the "mouseover" bug that sent unwitting Twitter users to Japanese porn sites yesterday? Well, it was caused by a 17-year-old Australian schoolboy. Pearce Delphin says he was the first one to try the mouseover trick. "I did it merely to see if it could be done ... that... More »

Facebook Phishing Scam Sends You Fake Passwords

(Newser) - A new Facebook phishing scam plaguing inboxes—with the sender appearing to have an email address sourced from Facebook—sends recipients attachments with "new passwords" and very exuberantly notifies them of such in the subject line. The usual advice applies: Don't open that attachment. Read the full article . More »

Mouseover Security Flaw Plagues Twitter

Site says it's got a patch in place

(Newser) - Twitter says it's patched a widespread security flaw today that redirected users to third-party sites (sometimes porn) or hit them with pop-up ads. This one was especially heinous, notes Mashable , because it took effect when users simply rolled over an offending link instead of clicking on it. It used... More »

'Here You Have' Virus Slams Major Firms

Spam worm halts work at NASA, Comcast

(Newser) - An email spam virus swept through corporate America's inboxes yesterday, causing servers to be shut down at major operations including Comcast, AIG, Disney, and NASA. The virus spread through emails with the subject line "Here you have," which contained a link that downloads a virus that sends the... More »

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