Tag: spam

Large-scale spam outbreak causes email delay

Source: MyBroadband

Xneelo has informed users that it is experiencing a large-scale spam outbreak that is resulting in e-mail being delayed.

Many Xneelo subscribers have been experiencing delays when sending emails to external recipients.

Some users have also received messages that the IP address they are attempting to send the email from is on the Spamhaus blacklist.

“You will receive the following error when attempting to send an email: 550 Spamhaus (-53): retry time not reached for any host,” Xneelo said.

The company said its engineers have rolled out a change that should resolve the error being encountered.

Here’s how you can block SMS spam

By Philip de Wet for Business Insider SA

There’s a new do-not-contact database for South Africans who want to prevent SMS spam.

For about 50 cents and five seconds of your time you can now block some – and possibly quite a lot – of SMS spam in South Africa.

The Wireless Application Service Providers’ Association (Waspa) has launched a do-not-contact (DNC) database for its members, who will be obliged to block unsolicited commercial text messages to numbers listed there.

Waspa is a self-regulating body of some 400 members, and it is possible to send bulk SMSes without their help, but its membership represents the companies with the kind of beefy infrastructure needed to send seriously large numbers of SMSes. That suggests a Waspa block could prevent a lot of spam.

Previously, South African consumers had to contend themselves with filing a complaint with Waspa after the fact, if one of its members facilitated spam.

You can go to the DNC website to list yourself as not keen to receive SMS spam – but you’ll need to confirm your South African cellphone number anyway.

Instead, you can just dial *120*69269# to use a USSD service to add the number you call from. That is charged at 20c per 20 seconds. Business Insider South Africa found that, with clumsy typing and a couple of mistakes, it takes about 35 seconds to use that channel, for a total cost of 40 cents.

Or, for 10c more, you can send the word “BLOCK” to 40662 via SMS. That will return a confirmation that your number has been added to the do-not-contact list. That SMS is charged at a maximum of 50 cents, or less depending on your SMS bundle pricing, and takes approximately five seconds.

Waspa members are required to check the DNC list weekly, which means there may be a seven-day delay between adding your number and all spam ending, the organisation warns.

By Jasper Hamill for The Metro 

WhatsApp has promised to take legal action against people or companies who break its rules – even if the ‘abuse’ took place on another platform. The messaging app has strict guidelines governing its own users’ behaviour and anyone who breaks the terms of service can already be hit by a ban.

But now the Facebook-owned company wants to take things a bit further by hauling users into court. And you don’t need to break the rules on WhatsApp itself to find yourself in trouble, because its enforcers will strike even they find ‘off platform-evidence of abuse’.

It wrote: ‘WhatsApp is committed to using the resources at its disposal – including legal action – to prevent abuse that violates our terms of service, such as automated or bulk messaging, or non-personal use. ‘This is why in addition to technological enforcement, we also take legal action against individuals or companies that we link to on-platform evidence of such abuse.

WhatsApp reserves its right to continue taking legal action in such circumstances.’

If you want to keep a WhatsApp account and not get sued, you might want to avoid using bots to send spam – which is known as automated or bulk messaging. The app has said that anyone who leaves off-platform evidence of abuse after December 7, 2019, will find themselves in its crosshairs.

WhatsApp added: ‘Beginning on December 7, 2019, WhatsApp will take legal action against those we determine are engaged in or assisting others in abuse that violates our Terms of Service, such as automated or bulk messaging, or non-personal use, even if that determination is based on information solely available to us off our platform.

‘For example, off-platform information includes public claims from companies about their ability to use WhatsApp in ways that violate our Terms. This serves as notice that we will take legal action against companies for which we only have off-platform evidence of abuse if that abuse continues beyond December 7, 2019, or if those companies are linked to on-platform evidence of abuse before that date.

‘We are committed to reinforcing the private nature of our platform and keeping users safe from abuse.’

Is your Gmail account spamming you?

By Annie Palmer for Daily Mail

A new spam attack is tricking a wave of Gmail users into thinking their account has been hacked.

Numerous users have reported that their inboxes were flooded with spam emails titled things like ‘growth supplements’.

However, in a bizarre twist, the ads appeared to have been sent from their own accounts.

Reports of the spam campaign began to trickle out on Saturday and Google has since confirmed the issue.

Users posted in Gmail’s help forum that they’d been hit by the spam attack despite having two-factor authentication and worried that their accounts were hacked.

“My email account has sent out 3 spam emails in the past hour to a list of about 10 addresses that I don’t recognize,” one user posted on Google’s help forum.

“I changed my password immediately after the first one, but then it happened two more times. The subject of the emails is weight loss and growth supplements for men advertisements. I have reported them as spam. Please help, what else can I do to ensure my account isn’t compromised?”

As it turns out, spammers figured out a way to bypass Gmail’s spam filters by using forged headers that make it look like Gmail users’ own e-mail addresses.

Because the messages seemed to be sent by the account owner, Gmail mistakenly filed them to the users’ sent folder.

The forged e-mail headers also appeared to have been sent “via telus.com”.

However, Canadian telecom firm Telus denied that the emails had come from its servers.

Google said users don’t need to worry that their accounts were compromised by the incident.

“We are aware of a spam campaign impacting a small subset of Gmail users and have taken measures to protect against it,” the firm told Mashable.

“This attempt involved forged email headers that made it appear as if users were receiving emails from themselves, which also led those messages to erroneously appear in the Sent folder.

“We have identified and are reclassifying all offending emails as spam, and have no reason to believe any accounts were compromised as part of this incident. If you happen to notice a suspicious email, we encourage you to report it as a scam,” the firm added.

How to check your account

A new spam attack is tricking a wave of Gmail users into thinking their account has been hacked.

Numerous users have reported that their inboxes were flooded with spam emails titled things like “growth supplements”.

However, in a bizarre twist, the ads appeared to have been sent from their own accounts.

The easiest way to check if you’ve been hit by the scam is to check your “sent” folder.

From there, check if any emails are listed as being sent by “via telus.com”.

If you find any, be sure to mark them as ‘spam’ so that they appear in the designated folder.

You can also report an email as a phishing scam by clicking on the dropdown menu, marked by an arrow, in the righthand corner.

Clicking this will give you the option to report an email as a phishing attempt.

Google said that the latest spamming attack hasn’t compromised any user accounts, so there’s no reason to believe your Gmail has been hacked.

Google employee Seth Vargo also addressed the spam attack in a tweet, saying that the firm’s “engineering teams are aware of this and are working on a resolution”.

The firm has developed sophisticated artificial intelligence that is capable of spotting fraudulent emails.

But it seems that this latest attack appears to be more alarming, as it was able to trick Gmail’s own spam filters, making it look like spammers hacked your account.

However, as Google pointed out, the spam attack isn’t a security issue because it doesn’t compromise the integrity of users’ data.

The Google Pixel smartphone’s dialler will soon have a spam filtering feature that sends suspected spam callers directly to voicemail.

According to MyBroadband, this is an extension of the app’s existing ability to alert users as to whether it suspects a call of being a “suspected spam caller”.

Instead of a missed call, numbers marked as “spam” or “suspected spam” will be automatically sent to voicemail where they can be listened to at a later date.

This may pose a problem for the traditional telemarketing companies. Once a company has been marked as “spam” by a number of users, it will be “blacklisted” and not appear as a call.

Marketing for large companies is often done by telephone.

How to identify a scam e-mail

Spam, scam e-mails and phishing: every day we receive hundreds of e-mails that may or not be linked to criminals trying to steal information from us.

My Office News took a look at an email we received and dissected it piece-by-piece to show you how to identify spam.

 

When the short link is clicked, it redirects to a site that downloads malware to your device.

Should you receive an email from someone claiming to be a service provider (such as a bank or ISP), rather call their main office to check the validity of the information.

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