SANTA CLARA, Calif., May 29 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ McAfee Inc. (NYSE: MFE) today announced the availability of "Image Spam: The New Email Scourge," a whitepaper designed to explain how image spam has evolved, why it is more difficult than text spam for most anti-spam filters to detect, and what McAfee® is doing to help customers combat the problem. The whitepaper is available for download through the McAfee Threat Center: http://www.mcafee.com/us/threat_center/default.asp
Image spam accounted for up to 50 percent of the total spam received in 2006, compared to less than five percent in 2005. According to recent findings, image spam has started to decline in the last few weeks from 50 percent to approximately 20 percent, demonstrating a possible increase in the amount of spam with links to images on image hosting sites, rather than the image being included directly in the email.
"Image spam is increasingly used by spammers to lure recipients into viewing pornography, buying penny stocks or participating in get-rich-quick schemes," said Jeff Green, senior vice president of McAfee Avert® Labs. "It can churn out hard-to-detect spam messages to a high volume of recipients, making it a highly lucrative business. It's hard to determine if this spam will continue to decline in 2007, but we do believe spammers will continue to develop similar techniques to help improve their evasion skills."
Image spam, which looks just like any other text email, consists of a .jpg or .gif graphic consisting of words embedded in the picture. Although the images used in one spam campaign appear identical in most cases, each image is actually unique, making it very difficult to detect.
McAfee has developed a number of methods to proactively and accurately detect the latest image spam. For more information, please visit http://www.mcafee.com
McAfee Avert Labs maintains a top-ranked global security threat and research organization, employing researchers in 16 countries around the globe. The Labs combine world-class malicious-code and anti-virus research with intrusion prevention and vulnerability research expertise.
McAfee, Inc. is the leading dedicated security technology company. Headquartered in Santa Clara, California, McAfee delivers proactive and proven solutions and services that secure systems and networks around the world. With its unmatched security expertise and commitment to innovation, McAfee empowers home users, businesses, the public sector, and service providers with the ability to block attacks, prevent disruptions, and continuously track and improve their security. www.mcafee.com
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