Republished from the CAUCE.org site.
A series of attacks on the Email Service Provider (ESP) community began in late 2009. The criminals spear-phish their way into these companies that provide out-sourced mailing infrastructure to their clients, who are companies of all types and sizes.
Upon gaining access to an ESP, the criminals then steal subscriber data (PII such as names, addresses, telephone numbers and email addresses, and in one case, Vehicle Identification Numbers). They then use ESPs’ mailing facility to send spam; to monetize their illicit acquisition, the criminals have spammed ads for fake Adobe Acrobat and Skype software.
On March 30, the Epsilon Interactive division of Alliance Data Marketing (ADS on NASDAQ) suffered a massive breach that upped the ante, substantially. Email lists of at least four financial institutions were stolen.
Read more on the CAUCE Web Site