"Upset boyfriends and girlfriends are nothing new. There are plenty of stories of girlfriends getting back at their ex-boyfriends for mistreatment and visa versa. But in the age where Google ranks supreme, you do not want to mess with a girl who knows how to manipulate Google. One guy learned this the hard way... Apparently, a disturbed ex-girlfriend took her ex-boyfriend's professional taken picture and polluted it all over Google Images for a search on his name.
"A suicide bomber's plan to detonate explosives in Central Moscow on New Year's Eve was foiled when she received an unexpected spam text message that caused her deadly payload to blow up too early. A message wishing her a happy new year came hours before the unnamed woman was to set off her suicide belt near Red Square, an act of terrorism that could have killed hundreds of people.
"The amount of junk e-mail being sent across the globe has seen a dramatic fall in recent months. The volume of spam has dropped steadily since August, but the Christmas period saw a precipitous decline. One security firm detected around 200 billion spam messages being sent each day in August, but just 50 billion in December. While the reasons for the decline are not fully understood, spam watchers warn the lull may not last.
"We all hate spam. At one time or another, it feels like the bane of our existence. Most of us just hit the delete button (or first tag it as junk) and the move on with our lives. Not Daniel Balsam, though, who quit his day job to take on spammers full time. Balsam was working as a marketer eight years ago. After one too many pitches to enlarge one part of his body or another, he had enough. He quit his job and went to law school. Now he makes a living by suing companies that send him spam mail. Now he takes spammers to court in California.
"On October 30, Oleg Nikolaenko flew from his home in Moscow to JFK airport, and then on to Las Vegas. He checked in to the Bellagio Hotel, where he attended the Speciality Equipment Market Association car show, a show he had attended last year as well. Bad move—because the feds nabbed him in Vegas just before the show ended, leaving his wife and young son back in Russia. At a November 4 hearing before a judge in Las Vegas, Nikolaenko needed a Russian interpreter and a public defender, but it didn't take much interpretation to see that he wasn't about to go free.
"The idea is that ISPs could detect signs -- say, by intercepting outbound spam, or botnet command-and-control traffic -- and cut the infected customer off from the internet. The user would be placed in a walled garden, where a web browser would only be able to see certain pages, which give instructions on how to fix the problem.
"Chances are that in the past week you've received an e-mail in your inbox that pretends to be from your bank, e-commerce vendor, or other on-line site. Hopefully you've realized that many times this e-mail is fake - a phishing or spam e-mail. The sender (phisher) of these fake e-mails wants you to click on the link in the e-mail and go to a phishing Web site - which will look just like the Web site of the company being phished. Once on the phishers Web site they hope to obtain your account, financial, credit and even identity information.
Despite security researchers' efforts to cut spam down to size, it just keeps growing back. The volume of unsolicited email in the first quarter was around 6 percent higher than a year earlier, according to Google's e-mail filtering division Postini.
Last year was an interesting year in the security industry in a number of ways, but perhaps none more so than the monstrous increase in the volume of malicious spam. In the second half of 2009, the number of spam messages sent per day skyrocketed from 600 million to three billion, according to new research.
For some time now, spam has been accounting for upwards of 90 percent of all email messages. But the volume of spam had been relatively steady in the last couple of years.
Was the Internet a safer place in 2009 than it was in 2008?
It all depends on how you look at the data. According to Cisco Systems, 2009 was a good year for at least one key reason: the U.S. is no longer the spam capital of the world. Now it's only number two.
While U.S.-originated spam volumes are on the decline, Cisco's State of the Internet 2009 security report highlighted a growing rise in attacks emanating from social media outlets.
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