Spam levels have surged to the highest in about a year and a half. Image spam, a technique not seen for some years has resurfaced and at extremely heavy volume.
Image spam can be difficult to detect due to it’s lack of easily identifiable content.
Images are used commonly on many on-line systems today to validate user logins to websites such as ebay, financial institutions and many others. The purpose of these is to ensure that a real person (and not a computer program) is logging in to a given system.
Many of you have undoubtedly had to decipher hazy characters, letters and numbers in order to change a password, sign up for an account or bid for an item. This is precisely why image spam is difficult to detect – using the same rationale, spammers reason that since email systems are automated and individual messages are not monitored individually by people, sending spam that simply contains an image is a great way to defeat many spam filtering systems.
This may account for the increase in spam you are seeing and we have recently published an article on some safe computing habits you should implement.