There are certain advantages to spam emails. How else would one receive a nice letter from the Easter Bunny?
The message probably was not from the real Estate Bunny. It was just another commercial trick marketers and crooks use to get users to read their messages.
There is something evil about people who would assume the names of Santa, the Easter Bunny and other characters revered by children.
And evil abounds. Trend Micro reports that emails in Costa Rica contain an average of 77 percent spam.
Spamhaus.org, a site set up to fight spams, said that the worst spammars are in the United States, followed by China and Russia. Not all anti-spam organizations agree, and some say that China leads the pack. Spamhaus includes photos of the world’s top spammers on its Web site.
Spanhaus also is where users go to check Internet blocklists to see if their server is blacklisted for spewing spam.
Frequently this is without the user’s knowledge or consent. The use of worms and other malicious software to take over computers is well known. An infected computer can put out up to a quarter million spam messages an hour, according to industry sources. Some of these so-called botnets are capable of sending 30 billion spam email messages per day.
The problem for computer users is how to block the unwanted spam but not trash real messages or even unexpected commercial messages that might be useful.
Spamhaus suggests using blocklist technology on servers to filter out about 85 percent of the spam and then use a more intense filtering program at the computer. There also are other commercial solutions.
The problem no longer is limited to PCs. Mobil devices are
getting their share of spam now, and Macintosh computers also are vulnerable.
Time was when Macintosh devices were immune because there were so few and spammers did not bother creating software to interface with the Mac operating system. Now there are so many Macs, including mobile devices that viruses for them are on the upswing.
There was one report this month of an extortive spam that hit a Mac in the Central Valley. This is one of those viruses that captures the computers and puts up a black screen with instructions to send money to the spammers for a release code. There may have been others. Spammers using this so-called Ransomware are believed to have taken in millions in the last two years.