Image-based spam is a nightmare facing enterprise networks

Enterprise Networking Magazine
3 min readMar 5, 2021

There is the commercial answer to combat this picture-spam nightmare, but much of the enterprise market and most e-mail users worldwide don’t seem to be yet safe.

“Image is everything,” roughly the old chestnut goes. For quite 1 trillion spam messages sent since April (yes, that’s 1,000,000,000,000), the image has been everything. No text, no numbers, no hyperlinks in these spams; just an image.

True, there’s an ad solution to combat this nightmare, but any of those solutions doesn’t save much of the enterprise market and most e-mail users worldwide. Some vendors believe their product is that the solution, but it isn’t that simple: An enterprise has to have the time and budget to implement a replacement solution to prevent the nightmare. And most users in small enterprises, nonprofits, and developing nations have neither the staff nor account for an enterprise-grade answer.

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More than 15 billion image spams flood on the web per day, a tenfold increase since 2005. the typical image-spam message size is 50KB, which is ten times larger than conventional spam. These larger message sizes, combined with the increased spam volume, have caused many fragile e-mail infrastructures to consent the load.

More of this spam is evading filters for 2 reasons. First, image-spam advertisements comprises an embedded file attachment like a .gif or .jpg with none meaningful text within the message. Most other spam includes some meaningful text and a clickable link that spam filters can detect. Eliminating many of the quality techniques accustomed stop spam reduces technique rates and increases spam amount arriving within the inbox.

Second, recent technological advancements by spammers have increased image spam’s effectiveness. the first innovation involves randomizing multiple copies of a picture to look the identical to the human viewer but different to spam filters. as an example, spammers send spam with an attached .gif file with random visual “dots” inserted within the images. Image colors, the width and pattern of the border, and font style are accustomed randomize the photographs. all told of those cases, the pictures appear the identical to the customer, but their checksum is different. More spam evading filters lead to more spam landing in inboxes, reducing employee productivity and increasing IT staff workload.

Image spam also indicates more dark days ahead for the Internet: Sophisticated spammers will still launch an endless stream of profitable, damaging spams. The image-spam attacks urging recipients to shop for penny stocks have made the spammer rich:
Spammers purchase the shares at an occasional price and “spamvertise” the shop.
Recipients purchase the shares, driving up the stock price.
The spammers sell their original shares for a fast profit.

These spammers can build sophisticated imagine-randomizing and spam-sending systems, launching billions of spam and investing their capital publicly, heavily regulated stock markets. Angry customers and e-mail outages are mere fatal accident to them. When this spam stops working, they’re going to progress to the following one. those that ignore what image spam attacks bode for our future do so at their peril.



Enterprise Networking Magazine

Enterprise Networking is a technology magazine that talks about enterprise networking solutions that can redefine business goals of tomorrow.