Simson Garfinkel

A View from Simson Garfinkel

A Weekend Filled With Spam

Like me, you probably spent the weekend fighting off spam. And strangely enough, most of it was in German. Did you find that odd? Well, as ZDNet Australia reports, the reason is that the Sober.Q virus was spreading German hate…

  • May 16, 2005

Like me, you probably spent the weekend fighting off spam. And strangely enough, most of it was in German. Did you find that odd?

Well, as ZDNet Australia reports, the reason is that the Sober.Q virus was spreading German hate mail all weekend. Apparently it was tied in to the 60th anniversery of the end of World War II.

But what’s really troubling here is that the Sober.Q virus was never distributed the way that most viruses are distributed—that is, by email. Instead, it was downloaded by computers already infected by the Sober.P virus. And, of course, those machines could have been used to download anything else.

I’m told that a fair number of the “phishing” and identity theft attacks are now coming from these ‘bots that are turning on the systems on which they are based. I wonder how long it will be until this threat is taken seriously—and something is done about it.

Looking at the mail headers of the spam, I saw that quite a few messages came from Comcast cable modems. I thought that they were blocking outgoing spam, but it looks like they’ve stopped—or, at least, the machines that were sending me email had not been blocked.

Want to go ad free? No ad blockers needed.

Become an Insider
Already an Insider? Log in.

Uh oh–you've read all of your free articles for this month.

Insider Premium
$179.95/yr US PRICE

Want more award-winning journalism? Subscribe to Insider Premium.
  • Insider Premium {! insider.prices.premium !}*

    {! insider.display.menuOptionsLabel !}

    Our award winning magazine, unlimited access to our story archive, special discounts to MIT Technology Review Events, and exclusive content.

    See details+

    What's Included

    Bimonthly home delivery and unlimited 24/7 access to MIT Technology Review’s website.

    The Download. Our daily newsletter of what's important in technology and innovation.

    Access to the Magazine archive. Over 24,000 articles going back to 1899 at your fingertips.

    Special Discounts to select partner offerings

    Discount to MIT Technology Review events

    Ad-free web experience

    First Look. Exclusive early access to stories.

    Insider Conversations. Listen in as our editors talk to innovators from around the world.

/
You've read all of your free articles this month. This is your last free article this month. You've read of free articles this month. or  for unlimited online access.