Pump-And-Dump Scammers Move From PDF Prospectus To Excel Spreadsheets Touting Stocks

from the does-anyone-click-on-attachments? dept

Last month, we wrote about pump-and-dump stock scammers creating and sending bogus prospectus PDF files to try to trick more people into buying shares. Apparently, they're now moving on to other attachments as well. Specifically, a few spammers are experimenting with sending spreadsheet files. It's not clear from the article if the spreadsheets just include text hyping the stock, or if it actually includes some sort of numerical spreadsheet analysis. The security firm that spotted this spam predicts (not unreasonably) that we'll soon see PowerPoint presentations for stock spam as well. Again, though, it makes you wonder why these stock spammers don't turn all that energy into actually becoming stock analysts. If you're going to go through all that work, why not be legit?

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    Gordon Stewart, Jul 30th, 2007 @ 4:29am

    stock spam

    It is sad to say that if people were not stupid and greedy, this spam would not exist. When I read the stats off our spam firewall, I am angered to see its identified more than a million spam emails in a few days.
    abusers should be jailed and fed a diet of spam

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    Mark Grafing, Jul 30th, 2007 @ 6:15am

    Stock Spam

    It is amazing at what length the spammers are hitting mail servers today. Though they can be heavily blocked using MailScanner and Barracuda SPAM Firewalls, the traffic generated is just plain wrong. I attribute this mostly to inept IT groups throwing a mailserver out there without securing it against open relays and adding checks and balances. Being a mail administrator is a full time job these days and it would be nice have some laws in place to "put the spammer in the slammer" I am thankful they are not snail mailing it to me at the cost of natural resources. I quote "The Tick" on this one..."Evil doers mend your wicked ways!"

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    Matthew, Jul 30th, 2007 @ 7:14am

    Not Corporate Servers

    This is not the work of a bumbling IT dept. This is the work of a widespread zombie-net. The average home users have to become more educated and vigilent against infections which allow their systems to pump out a couple thousand message before the respective Abuse dept can disable the modem. Then the scammer moves to the next batch of zombies.

    I would suspect the attachments to have viruses attached to claim even more zombies to make the next wave even bigger, and so on. The margin of suckers then increases even as the percentage becomes lower.

    Get your firewall up, antivirus up-to-date, and don't open strange email.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 30th, 2007 @ 8:32am


    If you're going to go through all that work, why not be legit?
    Wait a minute, didn't you just suggest they become "stock analysts"?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 30th, 2007 @ 6:28pm

    AC #4 has it exactly right - funny also.

    Come on Mike, do you really think that "all that work" is aimed at producing accurate material? Of course not. That's why they are scams. Mike strikes out on this one.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    mdm-adph, Jul 31st, 2007 @ 6:56am

    Re: Not Corporate Servers

    Of course it's not corporate servers -- most of those are running on an actual well-made operating system like Unix, Linux, or AIX. Breaking the Windows monopoly on the home PC market might go a long way towards fixing this problem!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. identicon
    Bear, Jul 31st, 2007 @ 1:10pm

    Stock Spam

    Anyone who accepts executable files (.xls, .pps, etc) in an email is a fool to begin with.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. identicon
    ChrisH, Aug 13th, 2007 @ 6:15am

    Re: Stock Spam

    xls and pps aren't executables they are MS Office documents, and most businesses would grind to a halt if they couldn't accept Office documents over email.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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