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