Spammers’ bullseye: Obama, McCain and the Olympic Games

Using recent news events such as Obama’s trip to Europe, the US Presidential Campaign and the anticipation of the Olympic Games which begins August 8th in China, spammers continue to sensationalize spam emails to entice users to open them. In recent examples of these spam attacks, the recipient opens one of these messages, and then is asked to click on a link that hosts malware. This malicious spam is often designed to infect other computers with viruses and trojans rather than simply promoting a spam product.

In the examples observed by Symantec during July, legitimate websites were often hijacked by hackers to host malware for this attack. Using legitimate websites can often make it harder to trace some of these hijackers.

Some of the subject lines of these malicious spam emails have included.

There are two key points to highlight note when monitoring this type of spam – the continuing link between spam and other security threats and the prevalent trend being used by spammers to use current events and human curiosity to lure users into opening a spam message.

Source: Symantec’s “The State of Spam Monthly Report” – August 2008

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