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Hackers Target Valentine’s Day with Spam E-mails

According to Internet security experts, spam campaigns targeting Valentine's Day (February 14, 2010) have been reported.

Maria Alarcon, anti-spam Research Engineer, Trend Micro, wrote in a blog post that two spam samples targeting one of the most distinguished days when people visit websites advertising gifts to give them to their lovers have been detected, as per the news by Trend Micro on February 1, 2010.

These spammed messages contained links that took users to a bogus gift promotion website. They also linked to another website that advertized replica watches.

Commenting on the modus operandi of hackers exploiting Valentine's Day, Alarcon said that every special occasion or holiday in today's Web milieu was not only a chance for people to celebrate, but also gave hackers opportunity to hit innocent users with their malicious scams. Alarcon further added that in more dangerous cases, forged e-mails contained links or attachments to viruses, as per the reports by SC MAGAZINE on February 1, 2010.

Other security experts said that Black Hat Search Engine Optimization (SEO) was also used by hacker to poison search results of Valentine's Day. Cyber crooks used this method so that their malicious links came near the top of search results and users could be deceived into believing that results were authentic.

Apart from Trend Micro, Internet security software distributor 'AVG' has also expressed concerns over the spam campaigns.

Lloyd Borrett, Marketing Manager of AVG (AU/NZ), claimed that while getting a secret card from a Valentine could be fascinating, opening an unknown e-mail with the subject line (I LOVE YOU) could prove destructive. Borrett also warned against any nasty piece of malware paving its way into the system, as reported by newsmaker on February 2, 2010.

The security experts have cautioned users against these harmful scams. For this, they have listed some precautionary steps. These are - be careful while opening mails specially when they belong to an unidentified sender; use of an updated antivirus solution that gives protection against spam but enables authentic mails through; and never reply to spam mails.

Related article: Hackers Redirect Windows Live Search to Malicious Sites

» SPAMfighter News - 2/10/2010

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