There’s been a heavy uptick in botnet spam over the last few days, judging by things I’m hearing and my own mailboxes. There are a few common subject lines, but all of them are trying to get recipients to either run programs or visit malicious web pages.
The first subject line I’m seeing a lot of is “<name> wants to be friends with you on facebook!” In my mailbox most of those names have not been common European names. The give away that this isn’t actually a Facebook invite is the Reply-To address pointing to Linkedin. The URLs in the message appear to be random strings of numbers, and may actually encode recipient information in them.
The second has a subject that that is a variation on “End of July Statement.” The spammers are mixing capitals, adding in “Re:” and “FWD:” and sometimes increasing the urgency by adding required or STAT!! to the mail. These mails contain a .zip file which probably contains some virus which will turn the recipient machine into the next spam spewing bot.
The third variation has the subject line “Uniform Traffic Ticket.” The content is a citation that tells the recipient they were speeding somewhere in New York (possibly other states, I have only done a spot check of the couple hundred copies I have). There is, however, a .zip attachment with a virus.
Most people probably aren’t seeing these. SpamAssassin is doing a reasonably good job here of catching the spam and filtering it. I’m sure that the bigger ISPs are also filtering it effectively. But one person did forward a copy of the spam to a mailing list and ask if anyone knew what was going on.
If you get any of these messages, you don’t need to ask. It’s virus spam. Don’t open it and don’t forward it.