When it comes to criminal creativity, I find it difficult to think of a group that’s more creative than spammers. Not only do these cyber criminals develop new and creative ways to bilk unaware computer users out of their money, but they regularly roll out time tested older spam scams.
Rolling back, this time, for another shot at the unaware user, is that old familiar spam scam – the NDR, an email “non-delivery report”. Personally, I have noticed a major increase in this annoying spam in the last few weeks.
PandaLabs recently reported on a 2000 percent increase in the amount of NDR spam messages in circulation – compared to the number of samples detected between January and June of this year. Twenty percent of global spam monitored by Panda Security now uses this technique.
According to Panda “These messages are usually legitimate, but this mail server function is being exploited by spammers to distribute spam, using the sender’s real name. The spam content is usually sent as an attachment to the fake non-delivery notice. Although in most cases users have not sent the supposedly undelivered email, they still become curious and open it”.
Curiosity is an issue we have covered on this site repeatedly. Let me give you this from the article “Want to Avoid Malware on the Internet? – Think BEFORE You Click” “….it may well be our conditioned human responses that pose the biggest risk to our online safety and security. Our curiosity, coupled with our conditioned responses can often override our common sense, so it’s not unusual for people to open an email attachment, for example, despite knowing that the attachment could be a virus or other form of malware”.
I handle hundred of emails every day, and in all the years I have been on the Internet and using email, I can recall only two non-delivery reports that were legitimate.
While it’s unlikely that opening a spam email non-delivery report will lead to system damage, or an infection, the one thing I will guarantee you is this – you will get a LOT more spam/scam email. It goes without saying, that the more spam you receive, the more likely it is that at some point, you will suffer a malware attack.
So do yourself a favor, if you receive a non-delivery report, simply ignore it. Of course, be guided by your own experience level in handling potential threats.
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