Spammers are using malicious code to send unsolicited junk by attaching them on mass mailing viruses to reach more addresses at rapid speed.
Accompanying this trend are the extraordinary strong arm tactics of attacking any organisation that stands in the way, particularly antispam websites which are being victimised by denial-of-service (DoS) attacks.
A number of companies that distribute internet blacklists used by ISPs to block e-mail from known spammers have been forced to shut down as a result of a relentless stream of DoS attacks.
Trend Micro Australia product marketing manager, Clive Wainstein, said, antispam websites such as spews.org, spamhaus.org and spamop.net have also been victims of "organised spamming syndicates".
Wainstein said the attacks are obviously commercially driven and are a sinister new tactic spammers are using to sell their wares.
He said a good example of spammers piggybacking on mass mailing worms is Mimail.F which pretends to be a meeting reminder from a colleague.
"Viruses are using spam tactics and spammers are using viruses - Mimail. F has infected a rising number of computers worldwide," he said.
It is likely that these methods are coming from more organised spamming syndicates.
David Banes, MessageLabs Asia-Pacific technical director, agreed spammers are using malicious code and said organised syndicates are typically located in Russia, China, South America and South Korea.
This trend goes beyond their usual techniques of stealing bandwidth, installing open-proxy trojans and spoofing e-mail, he said.
"We see about 23 million spam messages a day and about half of the e-mail traffic we see is spam," he added.
Sandra Rossi writes for Computerworld Today