Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Spammers using cricket test news to target Australian email users

MessageLabs Intelligence from Symantec Hosted Services has detected an email scam in circulation targeting Australian businesses, claiming to contain information about the Australia and West Indies test cricket.

The subject line boasts the title "Gayle ton keeps Australia at bay" however the spam itself bears no relation to the cricket besides the subject line. Instead it contains information relating to another Canadian pharmacy scam leading to the Canadian pharmacy website.

This format of mail has been prevalent throughout 2009 with spammers changing the subject line to reflect newsworthy or sensational subjects, bearing no relation to email content.

According to Andrew Antal, Senior Director Marketing APJ, Symantec Hosted Services, "Spammers have long been taking news clippings and headlines from websites. However this recent scam suggests that spammers may be automatically gathering news headlines and pumping them into their next spam run, within hours of the news headline breaking. Either way, it demonstrates that they are running a slick operation, no sooner does news break than it is in the spam messages."

With the third test starting today, Symantec Hosted Services would like to warn Australian email users about similar scams and subject lines.

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