New threat - DSD smokescreens of spam

By Samantha Cordell | July 29, 2019

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A sudden influx of spam may not be a simple annoyance but a warning sign that you are under attack, thanks to a new technique used by hackers known as distributed spam distraction (DSD).

DSD is used to hide important security messages amongst piles of annoying spam. Read on for details.

Understanding DSD

Distributed spam distraction (DSD) is designed to inundate your inbox with thousands of nonsensical emails. There are no dangerous links, ads, or attachments involved, just random excerpts of text stolen from books and websites. What’s worse, the email and IP addresses used are all different, so victims can’t simply block a specific sender.

These attacks last anywhere from 12 to 24 hours and can flood inboxes with as many as 60,000 messages. While they may seem like harmless annoyances, the true purpose of DSD is to draw victims’ attention away from what hackers are doing behind the scenes.

What hackers are doing is exploiting your personally identifiable information (PII) to make unauthorised purchases or pilfer cash directly from your accounts. The DSD acts as a sort of smokescreen to hide payment confirmation messages behind a deluge of spam messages.

Related blog: Keep your email safe

New tactics

Over the years, hackers have developed new tactics involving DSD. Several reports have shown that, instead of nonsensical emails, hackers are using automated software to have their targets sign up for thousands of free accounts and newsletters to distract them with authentic messages. This allows DSD blasts to slip past spam filters that have been designed to weed out malicious code and gibberish text used by traditional DSD attacks.

What’s even more worrying is that any ill-intentioned individual can go on the dark web and pay for DSD services. They just have to provide a hacker with their target’s name, email address, and credit card numbers — all of which can also be purchased on the dark web — and pay as little as $40 to send 20,000 spam messages.

How to stop it

DSD is a clear sign that your account has been hijacked, so whenever you receive dozens of emails in quick succession, contact your bank to cancel any unfamiliar transactions and change your login credentials as soon as possible. It’s also important to update your anti-spam software (or get one if you still don’t have one) to protect your inbox from future DSD attacks.

Hackers only initiate DSD attacks after they’ve obtained their target’s email address and personal information, so make sure your accounts and identity are well protected. You should regularly change your passwords and pins, enable multifactor authentication, set up text alerts for whenever online purchases are made in your name, and be careful about sharing personal information.

Does the threat of DSD concern you?

For more tips on how to deal with DSD attacks and other cyberattacks, give us a call on 1300 307 907 or contact us via the form below.

 

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 Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

TAGS: Business Value, News and General, Cyber Security

About Samantha Cordell
Samantha Cordell

Group Marketing Manager @ Diamond IT - Samantha (Sam) fell into the IT Industry after studying a combination of computer science and marketing at Uni, starting in Operations with the now decentralised Cabletron Systems. Over the next 20 years Sam undertook various marketing roles within Intel, Microsoft and Cisco Systems before moving to Newcastle for a sea-change working for Wine Selectors. “Not able to stay away from the IT Industry I jumped at the chance to join the team. I am excited to drive the marketing strategy for Diamond IT’s range of Technology Solutions."