Newsletter spam spreading, Symantec says

Spammers have something new in their bag of tricks, disguising spam email as email newsletters, the kind you get to find out the latest airline deals or keep up with your fantasy football team, an Associated Press report said.

The Associated Press report, quoting security firm Symantec, said spammers haven't actually broken into legitimate marketers' computer systems to send out the messages, rather, like the phishing scams that lift the code off the real Web sites of financial institutions, spammers have tweaked legitimate email and sent them through normal spam channels.

The technique appears aimed at bypassing human and software controls, the report said.

Recipients might not immediately realize they are opening spam, and anti-spam filters might not be able to aggressively block them for fear of blocking legitimate newsletters as well, anti-spam experts say.

These messages started appearing a month ago, and so far, they have been relatively small in numbers, said Doug Bowers, senior director of anti-abuse engineering at Symantec. He suspects spammers are fine-tuning their techniques to see what works.