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Email spam is on the rise, no surprise there, but new information is suggesting that these emails could be coming from good old mom and dad as well. According to researchers over at Websense, personalized spam emails are being sent from tens of thousands of compromised accounts spanning all of the usual suspects including Yahoo, Gmail, and Hotmail.
Security researchers have suggested that given the sheer volume of spam emails being observed, the recent leak of some 10,000+ Hotmail accounts obtained through a phishing scam isn’t the only source of compromised email addresses, and it is very likely malware key loggers have helped to contribute to the rise in fraud. "The quantity of people hit makes me think that it was key logging — the success rate for phishing is only about one in 1,000," said Shulman, chief technology officer for security firm Imperva. "Secondly, when I went through the list of email account credentials, there were entries with the same username, but a slightly different password, which suggests that they're typos.
According to Patrick Runald from Websense “"Generally phishing is declining and being replaced by key logging, and considering the number of compromised accounts, it could be a combination of both." Apparently it also helps if your password isn’t 1-2-3-4-5. Time to go change the combination on my luggage!