Happy Spamentine's Day

Thursday, February 14, 2008 by Mistlee

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David A. Utter

Happy Spamentine's Day

Spam messages with a Valentine's theme reach out for the lovestruck and the lovelorn, in some cases with targeted messages.

Like eating a box of chocolates, visiting sites touted by spam could leave people with a lot of regret. Security vendor BitDefender spotted waves of junk email promoting pharmaceuticals and replica watches.

Pharma spammers pitch drugs of all kinds. With this being Valentine's Day, it isn't difficult to erect an opinion about the kind of pharmaceuticals this wave of spam promoted, though BitDefender did not name any names.

As for replica watches, well, anyone who buys a fake Rolex for a significant other probably deserves whatever negative fallout comes from that. But since this means giving money to criminals, and personal data too, we have to advise people to steer clear of such come-ons, today or any other day.

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"The most annoying and dangerously themed spam is an adware-carrying wave," BitDefender noted. "The emails pretended to open a page specialized in sending e-cards ("Wish them love and a happy Valentines Day with one of our animated, personal greeting cards"), but instead the user was sent to a "smiley center"."

"If the user downloaded the "free smiles", an adware "gift" was also received," they continued. Such a gift keeps on giving, in the form of popup ads and other CPU-draining or worse activities on a PC.

"Believe it or not, spammers are actually starting to target their messages in hopes of getting greater returns" Bogdan Dumitru, BitDefender CTO, said in the post.

"Users need to be wary of the different URLs they click on during holiday seasons, as they will start to notice their inboxes increasingly being flooded with targeted spam during these periods."

Especially since infected hardware can put a crimp on one's life, we suspect.

About the Author:
David Utter is a business and technology writer for SecurityProNews and WebProNews.

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