Nachas with Spam

No, nachas is not a feminine form of nachos.  NACHA.org is the electronic payment system, a legit organization, and it does NOT send individual emails with subject lines like “Rejected ACH transaction.”  Nacha.org spam has been around for a while; I encountered it today for the first time when Gmail flagged it.  I looked at the email because I made an electronic payment earlier today and thought it might be related.  The mail appears to be from NACHA.org but a link to a “transaction report” in a “self-extracting PDF file” inflamed my already-tingling spider sense.  A Google search confirmed it to be malware-installing spam. It’s bad stuff.

Malware Aid

Malware is a serious, growing problem.  The Berkman Center and Consumers Union have launched BadwareBuster.org, “a community of people working together to fight back against viruses, spyware, and other bad software.”  If you believe your system has been infected with malware, have expertise about malware that you want to offer others, or want to learn more about what malware is and how to deal with it. check out the site.

Insecurity

An article from Friday’s NY Times underscores concerns about the increasing virulence of Internet malware.  “Thieves Winning Online War, Maybe on Your PC” opens with this sentence:  “Internet security is broken, and nobody seems to know quite how to fix it.”  It follows with sobering data:

  • Data theft, credit card fraud, and Internet scams are estimated to cost $100 billion a year;
  • The number of online computers infected by malevolent botnets is expected to increase from 10% to 15% next year;
  • A survey of 36 commercial antivirus products showed that they could identify fewer than 50% of the newest malicious programs;
  • “Microsoft has monitored a 43 percent jump in malware removed from Windows computers just in the last half year.”

If these facts are not depressing enough then read the whole article.