Symantec - Spam Continues to Exploit Current Events

Symantec in its recently released State of Spam report states that spam volumes are steadily rising to their normal levels, with the current rate standing at 94% of the levels of the pre-McColo shutdown.

The report also states that the latest spam using the ongoing swine flu attack is yet another instance of the way spam reacts to the recent events. Spammers' exploitation of current events like the outbreak of swine flu indicates how history makes its own repetition as this spam comes soon after spammers' exploitation of the earthquake in Italy or the tax day in the US.

Another instance of history's own repetition is the image spam that has reappeared. Although this kind of spam hasn't re-emerged with the high levels attained in January 2007 when they accounted for 52% of the total spam mails, it has nevertheless hit a mean 16% of the total spam at the end of April 2009.

Furthermore, spammers also used Mother's Day on May 10, 2009 to their fullest advantage, according to security researchers at Symantec. Spam mails related to this gift-giving day were the highest on May 3, 2009, counting to over 4,000 messages. A few of the commonly used subject lines in this spam campaign were: "Mother's Day Exclusive! Flowers from $19.99", "Mother's Day Flowers starting at $19.99" and "Send Mother's Day Flowers from $19.99".

The researchers also state that spammers have aligned the Mother's Day spam mails with present trends of malware that take advantage of holidays or important happenings. They evoke high Web traffic so that probable targets for fraud and malware get generated.

Moreover, Symantec states that not all of the malicious e-mails it analyzed focused on sending eCards and flowers on Mother's Day. spammers moved towards a popular name, Barack Obama, during the presidential election campaign of 2008 to distribute ads that connected his name with spam related to medical products, movable dewrinkle machine, and get-rich-quick schemes.

In fact, Obama continues to be a favorite topic for spammers, particularly after the President officially completed his first hundred days, since the researchers recently observed a significant rise in spam mails trying to make the most out of Obama's name and fame.

Related article: Sentence for American Contractor for Sabotaging Government Navy Computers

» SPAMfighter News - 5/16/2009

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