The worldwide financial crisis sparked an increase in spam production following the initial mid-September collapse of Lehman Brothers Bank, Bank of America and AIG, according to BitDefender researchers. As the world’s stock markets crashed, spammers attempted to lure recipients by promoting services that claimed to eliminate or leverage debts, mortgages, and other fiscal or loan obligations.
For example, a large spam wave targeting U.S. residents advertised the services of a company that allegedly offered to help stop home foreclosures. The message speculated the latest bailout plan announced by President Bush.
Based on a template used before the recession, additional spam campaigns featuring financial ads gained significant volume during the month of October. Usually limited to a single body or subject line, the messages direct users through Web links to various Web sites, most of which are involved in phishing schemes.
Other spam waves used the economic crisis as a simple decoy for advertising drugs, pirated software or replicas. Finally, one of the most recent spam attempts relied on a multiple combination of automatically generated and distributed junk e-mails and social networking profiles directing the targeted recipients to Web sites where they can “leave debt behind.”