News From Symantec Hosted Services


We know, only too well, that cyber criminals take advantage of every opportunity that new and emerging technologies provide to expand their trade – data theft.

So, with the huge adoption rate in smart mobile devices, and our increased reliance on these devices (which are literally powerful computers), there is a more pronounced sense of urgency to protect the data stored on these sophisticated mobile devices from the threat of cybercrime.

Symantec Hosted Services, recognizing this need, recently announced enhancements to its MessageLabs Web Security Service roaming support options, that will allow organizations to further support the security needs of their mobile workforce.

According to Symantec – “The new enhancements will monitor and secure the online activity of a highly distributed workforce.  Drawing on findings from the recent MessageLabs Intelligence report highlighting the inappropriate web usage of mobile workers, SmartConnect and RemoteConnect for MessageLabs Hosted Web Security protect against malware, and enforces Web acceptable use policies for teleworkers, or employees, at remote offices.”


If you’ve noticed a significant drop in Spam in your inboxes lately, like I have, there’s good reason – according to Symantec Hosted Services.

On Sunday, October 3, Symantec Hosted Services noticed that global spam levels dropped to their lowest in a while. Symantec Hosted Services believes this drop was due to a decrease in output by the Rustock and Cutwail botnets.

For additional insight on how Symantec Hosted Services tracked last weekend’s spam drop via sophisticated botnet intelligence, what contribution to global spam each of the major botnets makes, and what factors influence botnet output, check out the MessageLabs  Intelligence blog report here.

About Message Labs Intelligence:

Symantec’s Message Labs Intelligence is a respected source of data and analysis for messaging security issues, trends and statistics. MessageLabs Intelligence provides a range of information on global security threats based on live data feeds from our control towers around the world scanning billions of messages each week.

About Symantec:

Symantec is a global leader in providing security, storage and systems management solutions to help consumers and organizations secure and manage their information-driven world.  Our software and services protect against more risks at more points, more completely and efficiently, enabling confidence wherever information is used or stored. More information is available here.

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Filed under bots, cell phone, Connected Devices, Email, Enterprise Applications, Malware Reports, MessageLabs, Software, spam, Symantec, System Security, Windows Tips and Tools

2 responses to “News From Symantec Hosted Services

  1. hipockets

    Hi, Bill,

    You wrote, “If you’ve noticed a significant drop in Spam in your inboxes lately, like I have…..”

    I’ve noticed a big increase in spam during the past two weeks or so. At least I would call it spam – emails advertising a diversity of non-related products but all from the same email address. I did not retain any particulars, but I remember one was “Credit Alert”, another about “High Quality Printer Ink”. Both from the same email address. Neither had text in the message; both had links to images somewhere on the web. All of the links referenced my email address. I did not open any of the links – I right clicked on them and copied the underlying text into Notepad to see what they were.

    Today I received a message from “Radio Shack” — from email address “”– “As a current or former RadioShack customer, we respect your time and value your business. Occasionally we would like to send you e-mail ….if you prefer not to receive messages from RadioShack via e-mail please click here to unsubscribe……you may opt out from receiving these special offers by clicking here.”

    The “click here” and “clicking here” duplication made me suspicious, so I copied the underlying text and pasted it into Notepad to see what “here” is. It turned out to be a java script: “javascript:parent.wgMail.openComposeWindow(‘’)”.

    Now, maybe I’m overly suspicious, but trying to get me to unknowingly open a java script strikes me as not an honest thing to do.

    Incidentally, I use Opera email, but whenever I see something that strikes me as probable spam, I go to my ISP’s server and open that email in a preview window. I have read that doing this prevents getting malware on my computer, since the action is taking place on the server. But — the preview still has to be seen on my monitor through my computer, so I doubt that this procedure is actually protecting me. I would appreciate your feedback on this.

    FYI, I use Avast, Immunet**, GESWall**, and the free Comodo firewall, all running concurrently. I try to remember to scan with WebRoot SpySweeper once a week. Also, I use McAfee SiteAdvisor, NortonSafeWeblite**, and WOT, all running concurrently. Immunet advised me of several suspicious files; I don’t recall GESWall advising me of anything.

    **Thanks to your articles! :>)

    Keep up the good work!

    • Hey Hipockets,

      Yes, by definition, the type of email you refer to is Spam – but not malicious Spam (not designed to infect your machine). It appears your information has been harvested, and then sold to a mass email distributor. So, the Spam you are receiving is not “botnet” Spam. This does NOT indicate any lack of security on your part – email harvesting can be done in 100’s of ways.

      It’s not unusual for javascript placement in either emails, or web pages for that matter, but I definitely understand your hesitation. Keep in mind though, the Internet literally runs on javascript. In the example you provide, both links (on my machine), open my desktop email client which is sensible, since the objective (in this case), is opting out.

      I’m at a loss to understand why opening a preview pane on an ISP site would make any difference, since the client machine is still interacting with the object.