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Risk

11/7/2008
12:15 PM
Keith Ferrell
Keith Ferrell
Commentary
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Obama Wins Spam Race Too

The spammers love a winner -- winners exploited in subject-lines make it easier for spammers to turn computer users into losers. Take a look at the still-growing volume of Obama-themed spam and spam-scams to see how the cybercrooks are handling the transition.

The spammers love a winner -- winners exploited in subject-lines make it easier for spammers to turn computer users into losers. Take a look at the still-growing volume of Obama-themed spam and spam-scams to see how the cybercrooks are handling the transition.Yesterday we took a look at the rash of Obama-themed Trojans spreading malice across the Net.

No surprise there: hot news topics, sports contests, celebrity sex scandals and economic downturns (or, one hopes we get to find out soon, dramatic economic recoveries! -- capture the public interest and the spammers and cybercrooks use that interest to leverage the number downloads and clicks they dupe unwary users into.

Some figures from MessageLabs confirm that the election and especially its winner are the hottest spam come-on lines of the season, with Barack Obama-themed spam accounting for 82 percent of all election-related junkmail.

As noted, none of this is particularly surprising -- except for the hundreds of thousands of computer users, a fair percentage of them no doubt working (and surfing) at small and midsized businesses who decide to take a break, glance at what promises to be a never-before-seen Obama video and end up compromising their system and potentially the business itself.

Won't be long before the Obama-lines give way to holiday-themed come-ons. Before that particular transition occurs, though, why not take the occasion of the election to distribute a reminder of just how spam and malmail work, and how aggressively the spammers and scammers exploit the hottest headlines and our interest in them to work their way into your systems?

Give it a try -- the sheer size of the Obama-spam deluge gives you both a perfect opportunity and a perfect example to accomplish some remedial computer-use education.

Now that's change we can all believe in.

There's a good bMighty look at anti-spam measures here.

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