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Spammers Use Obama, Clinton & Airline Company in Their Messages

Certain spamming campaigns have been found to use the names of Senators, Hilary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama, US presidential contenders from the Democratic Party, to trick people into handing over their confidential personal information as also buy into pump-and-dump penny stock schemes and pharmaceutical products.

According to Dermot Harnett, Principal Analyst of anti-spam engineering team at Symantec, the candidates contending for the president post are themselves popular brands as a lot of people get genuine e-mails from them. So, there is a possibility that victims opening the tricky e-mails and trying the links, as reported by SearchSecurity on March 6, 2008.

In the meantime, spammers are not sparing the republican contenders too. Gov. Mike Huckabee and Senator John McCain, the two contenders from the Republican Party too have been used in certain spamming campaigns. However, according to Harnett, spammers are primarily taking advantage of the neck-to-neck race between Clinton and Obama.

As accords to news from Symantec published in the company's Security Response blog in the second week of February 2008, Symantec said that the election campaign for Clinton is being exploited for spamming another type of message. This message tricks recipients into downloading Trojan, Trojan Sribzi, in the pretext of providing a link pointing to a film showing Clinton delivering a campaign speech.

In this connection, Doug Bowers, Spam Expert at Symantec, said that false Hilary Clinton messages supposedly delivered in early February 2008, were just the leading malware in the campaign, which is likely to hit United States when the Presidential election of November 2008 gets even closer.

Even, Symantec released its report, State of Spam Report for February 2008, in which it traces the spam camping of spammer and said that the volume of spam has become steady at 78.5% of total e-mail over the last two months however, it is still more than the median of 61% during the first six months of 2007.

Harnett also said that that apart from special occasion like the US presidential election, spammer uses the individual's identity and brand names for carrying out spam attacks.

Similarly, according to Symantec, Southwest Airlines is the latest in being brandjacked. The company says that it tracks a lot of spam mails offering a couple of free airline tickets provided the recipient answered a survey questionnaire, as SearchSecurity on March 6, 2008.

Related article: Spammers Continue their Campaigns Successfully

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