Security Corner

Apr 30 2009   1:21AM GMT

Swine Flu Breeds Spam

Ken Harthun Ken Harthun Profile: Ken Harthun

As usually happens with major disaster events—in this case the impending Swine Flu pandemic—email scammers are busy perpetrating pharmaceutical and other types of scams. In some cases, they’re using celebrity names to grab attention. Spam is hitting inboxes with various subjects. The following list, compiled by McAfee and posted on the McAfee Avert Labs Blog, shows some of the subject lines they’ve seen:

First US swine flu victims!
US swine flu statistics
Salma Hayek caught swine flu!
Swine flu worldwide!
Swine flu in Hollywood!
Swine flu in USA
Madonna caught swine flu!

They also report a 30x increase in the number of domain name registrations mentioning “swine.” It’s a good bet that many of those names will be used by scammers.

I’ve alerted my clients to this latest wave and sent reminders to everyone that should they receive any such emails, they should immediately delete them. That’s good advice to pass along.

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