If you want to know what’s going on in the world, just check your spam filter. Spammers have an uncanny knack for following the headlines, and the latest mega-news stories are no exception.
AppRiver has issued its February spam report, finding a deluge of scams disguised as information about the World Cup or the earthquake in Haiti. eSecurity Planet takes a look at the numbers, and reports on what else the spammers are up to.
Spammers got off to a fast start in the new decade, using 419-style scams tied to this summer’s World Cup soccer tournament and bogus charity cons relating to the devastating earthquake in Haiti to infect users’ machines with all types of viruses and malware, according to AppRiver’s February Spam Report released this week.
The security software vendor said that these and other socially engineered malware traps were particularly common on social networking sites like Facebook, where compromised accounts are easily usurped to spread malware across the community.
“Facebook has become as popular with phishers and malware authors as it has become to non-threatening netizens,” AppRiver researchers said in the report. “This trend has continued into the new decade.”
AppRiver identified a new phishing campaign at the beginning of January that was concealed in a graphic designed to fool the recipient into believing e-mails were coming from Facebook itself.
“As is often the case, the notices attempt to convince people that a security upgrade is taking place,” the company said.