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Spam Campaigns Now Using Google, Olympics In Subject Lines

Chris Richardson
Staff Writer
Published: 2004-08-27

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Spammer groups have begun using new methods in order to dupe unsuspecting people. Keeping with what's on the surface of popularity, spammers have resorted to including Google and The Olympics within email subject lines in an effort to trick recipients into opening these mailings.

As reported in an article in ComputerWorld.com, SurfControl PLC, a Web and e-mail filtering software vendor has issued a warning to potential victims informing them of the new approach spammers are taking. In the article, Susan Larson, vice president of global content at SurfControl, was quoted as saying; "There is greater awareness of the risks associated with spam and e-mail, so spammers must continually create new techniques to trick end users. Companies should be on the lookout for these new techniques and others as they emerge."

Spam emails that try this method usually include "Google, #1 Search Engine" within the subject line. The mailing attempts to get users to click a link that will allow them to download the most current Google Toolbar. SurfControl believes this link downloads a file that contains a virus.

There are a couple of telltale signs that the mailing is a hoax. The first is that the IP address associated with the link comes from a Website suspected of selling, according to ComputerWorld, "‘The Essential Underground Handbook,' a guide to get-rich-quick schemes and other forms of fraud." The other red flag comes from the fact the email is from an individual and not Google.

As far as I know, Google has never started an email campaign soliciting others to download their toolbar. Their site visit amounts are so vast, that an email that requests people to download their accessory is not necessary.

SurfControl also issued a warning about mail with Olympic-based subjects. These mailings invite others to click to a site that has a current medal count. Suspected subject lines include "Olympic Games", "Olympic Medals", "ATHENS 2004" and "ATHENS RANKS".

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About the Author:
Chris Richardson is a search engine writer and editor for WebProNews. Visit WebProNews for the latest search news.

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