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Spammers Making Most Out of Swine Flu News

Many security companies have said that spammers seeking to draw search engine users' attention are exploiting the outbreak of swine flu to captivate the users with allusions to various fitness concerns.

On April 27, 2009, it was reported that approximately 2% of the total spam messages showed the keywords "flu" and "swine" while 146 domain names were registered with references to swine flu.

The e-mail security experts said that the spam mails and the associated websites apparently did not host malicious programs despite their link to websites offering pharmaceuticals. Nevertheless, the quickly created domain names containing 'swine flu' references might be used to host malware, or for phishing attacks or spam scams in future.

Besides, spammers and other cyber criminals have started employing SEO (Search Engine Optimization) tactics in order to raise the rankings of their malicious websites on search engine results.

Discussing the problem further, the security experts stated, whenever headlines like 'Swine Flu Pandemic' appear, they draw the attention of the public which then seeks to get more breaking news and information. Attackers are aware of this fact and they exploit it to entice users by their tricks to victimize them with phishing attacks or malware or get them to part with their money for some reason or the other.

Furthermore, regarding a swine flu malware, the researchers said it hasn't been seen as yet, however, possibilities of its appearance can't be ruled out.

Hence, the security researchers have recommended that companies should adjust their security software so that they are able to tackle e-mails containing the 'swine flu' words. They have also suggested that users should use common sense while receiving e-mails and attachments making references to 'swine flu.'

Meanwhile, F-Secure, an online security company, notes on its company blog that a certain website, noswineflu.com, attempts to trick users into paying $19.95 for a PDF named "Swine Flu Survival Guide."

The reports also reveal that there have been headlines about the new swine flu epidemic since the end week of April 2009, when reports arrived from Mexico about deaths due to the illness while the United States spotted cases in Texas, California and New York.

Related article: Spammers Continue their Campaigns Successfully

» SPAMfighter News - 5/11/2009

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