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Spammers Take Advantage of Tired Manchester United Fans

Center for analysis of world network of spyware, virus and spam, Sophos warned football supporters of Manchester United on May 22, 2008 to be on guard of unsolicited e-mails since a spam attack has been discovered in which the e-mails contain an URL named mnchesterunited.com.

Experts at Sophos note that if any letter from the club's proper name goes missing, chances increase that unwitting victims would overlook it and click the link. However, when SophosLabs intercepted samples from the vast number of spam mails, it found that the Union of European Football Association (UEFA) cup was not mentioned in the main subject title. Cyber-criminals often use this tactic to lure end-users into viewing such e-mails.

According to Sophos, the site mentioned actually is totally unrelated to the recently crowned European Champions; rather, it tries to sell products for enhancing body parts of men. But the e-mail's subject lines, which include "Get a greater kangaroo pounder" or "Change your small trout into a great white shark", should indicate that the message is really spam.

Graham Cluley, Senior Technology Consultant, Sophos, said that the spammers were clearly seeking to cash from the hung-over and tired fans of Manchester United who would not bother to see the hidden details of the e-mails before opening them. GlobalSecurityMag published Cluley's statement on May 22, 2008.

Nevertheless, according to security researchers, it appears that the spammers too are somewhat tired, as these criminals have not been successful with using the tricky subject lines. Tired or not, computer users increasingly know that they should avoid e-mails that show such eyebrow-raising titles as just mentioned. This, hopefully, would mean that fewer fans would get trapped and turned into a victim.

Moreover, as sports, especially football, always remain popular, the significant events during them draw the spammers' interest who try to play mischief with the fans. As in related news, in September 2007, Marshal's TRACE Team, a provider of e-mail security which revealed a huge outbreak of Storm carrying malicious spam mails, targeting fans of National Football League (NFL), is yet another example of sports-related spam.

Related article: Spammers Continue their Campaigns Successfully

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