An interesting article at NetworkWorld last month, describing spam bombs to victims of fraud and identity theft to hide the transactions and notifications from financial institutions.
The targets are individuals, whose identity and personal information the thieves already have. The victims’ email inboxes suddenly get flooded with thousands upon thousands of emails — as many as 60,000 during a 12- to 24-hour period — that contain no links, no graphics, and no advertisements. “[The contents are] nothing but mash-ups of words and phrases from literature,” he wrote.
[…] the real point is to distract the user from valid email, which will likely include confirmations of purchase receipts or balance transfers from fraudulent transactions made with the victim’s credentials.
This doesn’t seem to be a widespread problem currently, and I expect that many of the major ISPs will identify this as a mailbomb and stop the mail. As many of these mails are coming from botnets, too, many ISPs will block the mail during the SMTP transaction. I think for most people, there isn’t a huge risk. However, that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be aware.