How stupid do you have to be to get caught by spam email with the subject line of 'we caught you naked [your name] - check the video' is a question I have been asking myself today. Not because I have been caught naked, and if I had my only concern would have been for the poor soul subjected to the visual ordeal. Not even because I have received such a spam myself, at least not that I am aware of as my spam trap would have swallowed it whole and spat it out in bits before I knew about it. Nope, more because I really do feel for the kind of village idiot hopeful who would click on the link to that supposed video.

Of course those who do, and given the fact that this particular one has gone global and is hitting mailboxes as you read this according to the Marshal TRACE security team, will not see the offending (or should that be offensive) video and in fact will not see anything. You will, however, be volunteering your PC resources as part of the globally spamming and malware infecting Srizbi botnet instead.

Srizbi is the biggest of all spam-sending botnets currently plying its trade on the Internet, and according to Marshal is responsible for no less than a whopping 45 percent of all the spam that its own networks identify. Marshal is not alone in making this call, others have also described Srizbi as the world's largest botnet for good reason. It is built with some 315,000 bots and growing, responsible for at least 60 billion spam messages each and every day right now.

Bradley Anstis, Marshal VP, says of the naked video spam "the message seeks to embarrass you by claiming to have video footage of you naked. The spammers are clearly hoping to shock unsuspecting recipients into investigating this compromising footage. In their haste to look into the claim, some people might not consider the link in the message leads to Malware " and adds "In December last year, we attributed 20 percent of the spam we caught to Srizbi and now it is more than double that. It is also more than double the next biggest botnet in terms of its spam volume. We have observed individual Srizbi bots sending as much as 8,000 spam messages per hour."

About the Author

As Editorial Director and Managing Analyst with IT Security Thing I am putting more than two decades of consulting experience into providing opinionated insight regarding the security threat landscape for IT security professionals. As an Editorial Fellow with Dennis Publishing, I bring more than two decades of writing experience across the technology industry into publications such as Alphr, IT Pro and (in good old fashioned print) PC Pro. I also write for SC Magazine UK and Infosecurity, as well as The Times and Sunday Times newspapers. Along the way I have been honoured with a Technology Journalist of the Year award, and three Information Security Journalist of the Year awards. Most humbling, though, was the Enigma Award for 'lifetime contribution to IT security journalism' bestowed on me in 2011.

I'm amazed at how many people are fooled by this type of trickery. Being a techie myself, people are always asking me "what's the best virus protection to get?"

My answer is always the same: "The most effective protection from viruses, phishing and all types of malware is right between your ears."