Last week’s spam spike, marked by the single biggest one day jump ever (445%), put a new twist on an ever-evolving combination of spam and scam campaigns. A massive flood of PDF Spam was used to propogate a Pump and Dump Stock Scheme. The scam-paign lifted the share price of Prime Time Limited, a small Florida Company, a whopping 57% (from $.07 to $.11) through last Wednesday. The stock tumbled below $.07 in trading Thursday but fluttered up and down on Friday and this past Monday.
Prime Time denies involvemet in the scam and is working to identify shareholders who held “Naked Short” positions in the company. A Naked Short is:
- A short selling tactic where a seller sells stock they don’t own and bet that the stock price will drop in the few days before the sold stock must be delivered so that the delivered stock cost substantially less that the sold stock.
- An ironic way for spammer-scammers to monitize their spam
Mobile Entertainment Inc and CYTV were two other penny stocks touted in the campagins. CYTV is a regular feature on the pump and dump circuit.
As always, the most astonishing fact of the case is that several thousand people, at least, took the bait (but hey, we know that Pump and Dump works).
The campaign used a large botnet to unleash a flood of relatively new attachment spam that fooled some defenses and simply overwhelmed others. It is also the first Pump and Dump Campaign to provoke a sustained elevation in trading volume.