Tagged With spam

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For the last few weeks, I've noticed that I've been getting an influx of spam calendar invitations to my iCloud account, often from random counterfeit retailers. "Save 20% on UGGs" one says. "$19.99 Ray-ban&Oakley Sunglasses," says another.

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Researchers at Friedrich-Alexander University in Germany conducted a study that sent out 1700 emails that simulated a phishing scam, and made an unfortunate discovery: Around half of the participants, even ones that claimed to be aware of such security risks, clicked on the links.

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Many of us have had the experience of receiving a spammy email from a friend or loved one, only to have a frantic follow-up note arrive a few minutes later from that person stating that his or her email account was hacked and warning us not to open or respond to any of the messages sent by the intruder. To be sure, this is an alarming situation for many users. But the scarier truth is that if your inbox (or your phone, tablet, Twitter or Instagram account, anything really) gets hijacked by modern cyberthieves, spewing spam is about the most innocuous thing that can happen to it.

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Open your spam folder right now and there's almost certainly a grammatically questionable spam email offering you V1agra or C1al1s. But while you know that any pills procured from shady online retailers aren't regulated, apparently some people can't stop buying them. Brian Krebs reports that the problem is out of control.

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We've all received that email at least once before. A kind prince/princess/spambot in Nigeria has millions of dollars, and better yet, they want to split it with you. Just hand over your social security code and wait for them to arrive on American soil. As the above newspaper clipping shows, these types of scams were going on even before email came around — in this case, as early as 1876.

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The latest crop of spambots on Instagram are employing a trick even slimier than just buying fake followers: They're stealing profiles. As The Verge reported today, some Instagram users are getting followed by their bot doppelgängers, profiles made up entirely from their ripped-off images.

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Google has removed two Chrome browser extensions over the weekend, because the software appears to serve spam ads — in turn violating company's terms of service. Both the "Add to Feedly" and "Tweet This Page" extensions were quietly updated recently, but in the process began feeding users undesirable ads, reports the Wall Street Journal.

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Whether you willingly signed up in the naive hope that maybe this one would prove useful, or your email address just magically appeared on the list, chances are your email inbox is plagued by an onslaught of undesirable newsletters on the daily. So it takes a lot to make it into the most-hated list.

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People attribute a lot of annoying internet stuff to bots. Twitterbot followers, bots that sneak past spam filters, bots that send weird gibberish on messaging services. It sounds kind of tired, but maybe the situation is exactly as bad as everyone thinks.

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Man, I love "I Fucking Love Science", the Facebook page with 5.4 million likes that clutters my News Feed with hundreds of clever images, many of which are stolen without attribution to their authors. It's entertaining and amazingly sharable. It's also changing the character of the social network — and some argue it's doing so for the worse. We're compliantly spamming our friends right out of our Facebook feeds.

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The Economist has a chart from Kaspersky Lab, a security firm, that shows that spam mail is on a decline. Supposedly, it's a combination of spam filters actually working, the authentication of senders and more police crackdowns on Nigerian princes.