Orange County Security SIG

Notes and comments of a Special Interest Group on computer security.

August 01, 2005

 

Disposable email and virus update

"Throw away" or disposable email accounts can be used for controlling spam. Use these accounts when signing-up for forums or newsgroups or anything else that requires a working email address but you don't want anything sent to you. There are some that allow you to use any arbitrary address. I use 'mailinator' which allows me to use an address like 'dave@mailinator.com'. Any email that is sent to me is only valid for a couple of days and then it is purged from the system. Others are just free email accounts (like Yahoo) that can easily be ignored later. Use these email addresses for those sites listed above. Then when you get a bunch of spam on the account, just dump the email address and use another account. That way your main email account (probably the one your ISP gave you) will not be cluttered with junk from the forum's "associates" or from "spiders" that collect email addresses for spamming purposes. However, there are security/privacy issues with most disposable account. So be careful with them. Primarily, when an email account allows for email to be sent to their server it is available for anyone to read. Do not use these kinds of addresses on web sites that are important or with information that you wouldn't want exposed to the world. Check with your ISP, they may also have a solution. SBC has an option that allows for you to set-up special email accounts that are tied to your main account and as long as they exist they are sent to your main email. It lets you get the first email (usually a verification that your new account was set-up) and then kill that email account without affecting your main email. A "top twenty virus" list was published from Kaspersky Labs. Thirteen of the 20 winners were variations of the Mytob worm. The "c" variation (Net-Worm.Win32.Mytob.c) took the top position with 19.55%. "Mytob was [the] flavor of the month in June. We had Mytob with worm and bot capabilities, Mytob without bot capabilities, Mytob packed with one, two or three packers and so forth. In short, Mytob variants dominated email traffic this month." - Alexander Gostev, Kaspersky Labs He also mentioned that Lovgate has been in the top ten for over a year. (He called it "the worm that refuses to die.") The good news is that Bagle and Sober have completely disappearanced while Mydoom will probably follow them into oblivion. So the only dangerous worm left from 2004 is NetSky.
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