Peny-stocks spams…again

We all hoped about 5 years ago that this is over: after email-spam advertising penny-stocks, improved spam-campaigns using images, then trials to beat OCR detection with noise in and angle changes of the images, and finally closing with PDF-based penny-stock-spam.

The latest version of this pest has titles like “The best is yet to come”, “It Becomes Our Latest Double”, “ This is Ready to Explode”, “ It Should Resume Uptrend” etc.,  and it is written in plain text with some obfuscation.

There is a trick in the way the symbol of the stock (GTRL,“Get Real USA”) is obfuscated: the fraudsters added some random “_” in the stock name. So, now we see in the emails “GT_R L”, “G_TRL”, “G_TR_L”, and so on. This should trick classical Bayesian filters.

Having a look on Nasdaq’s chart for this stock, I found some interesting results. I am not a stock market expert, but I think that these numbers show a clear increase in volume in the days when they sent spams like this one.

I obtained the same result (high increase in transactions) back in 2007 when the “pump-and-dump” spam emails were on the highest level.

I strongly recommend to any potential investor to not buy such stocks advertised in spams and to all readers to never buy anything advertised in a spam email.


Sorin Mustaca

IT Security Expert



via Avira – TechBlog

© Copyright 2012 Sorin Mustaca, All rights Reserved. Written For: Sorin Mustaca on Cybersecurity

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About the Author

Sorin Mustaca
Sorin Mustaca, (ISC)2 CSSLP, CompTIA Security+ and Project+, is working since year 2000 in the IT Security industry and worked between 2003-2014 for Avira as Product Manager for the known products used by over 100 million users world-wide. Today he is an independent IT Security Consultant focusing on Cybersecurity, secure software development and security for IoT and Automotive. He is also running his personal blog Sorin Mustaca on Cybersecurity and is the author of the free eBook Improve your security .

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