Quick Hits

* Last week, Richardson, TX-based KnowledgeBase Marketing acquired Boston-based analytics firm Fortelligent, Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

The acquisition will provide KnowledgeBase customers with automated analytic functions. It will also allow KnowledgeBase to link Fortelligent’s technology with KnowledgeBase’s AmeriLink national compiled database, enabling clients to run models and select prospect names.

Fortelligent will remain based in Boston. Jay Hirschberg will continue as Fortelligent’s president/CEO.

* Last week the National Cyber-Forensics & Training Alliance (NCFTA) released it the five most prevalent spam scams for February:

* Phishing. Phishing attacks use spoofed e-mails and fake Websites from well-known financial institutions, online retailers, and other companies to fool recipients into revealing personal information or to have a virus placed onto their computer.

* Tsunami e-mail scams. These scams came in several forms, pretending to be from relief charities, offering to find victims for a fee, or requesting that money be deposited in overseas accounts. Viruses also have been found attached to these tsunami spam scams in the disaster pictures sent in the e-mail.

* Nigerian scams: There are several variations of these scams, which generally inform the recipient that he is allegedly due a large sum of money or asks for his assistance with some form of money laundering. The recipient is asked to provide money for “processing fees” or personal financial information to facilitate the transaction. These scams, which were more abundant last year, have reemerged in conjunction with the tsunami scams.

* Spyware/Trojans/malicious code: These are software that surreptitiously performs certain tasks on participants’ computers, such as collecting personal information, without the user’s consent. They can cause computers to be used for other criminal conduct, such as denial of service attacks, or to act as part of a spam-relay network. They more frequently find their way onto a victim’s computer after he accesses a Website containing the software. But they can also infect a computer through a spam e-mail that includes a link to a site containing spyware or Trojans. In some instances a user need not even open the e-mail attachment for the software to execute or load to the computer.

* Bogus online auctions: These auctions are usually perpetuated through spam. Fake auctions are set up where people bid on items that don’t exist or for items they will never receive. Credit-card information can also be harvested from these sites.

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