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  • irishtimes.com - Posted: May 3, 2009 @ 12:37 pm

    Swine flu makes spammer radar

    Ciara O'Brien

    Nothing gets past the scam artists. Oh no. No opportunity too small, no crisis too big to exploit. It was only a matter of time before swine flu made its way into the spammers’ repertoire of scams to pull on unsuspecting punters.

    According to McAfee, there has been a notable increase in the number of junk mails being sent with “swine” and “flu” in the subject line sicne the outbreak, with the most enterprising getting on the bandwagon within a couple of days of the news hitting the headlines. (My favourite subject line, by the way, proclaims “Madonna caught swine flu!”)

    Of course, you’re less likely to find something useful in the spam mail and more likely to find your PC infected with malware should you try to take any of them up on their kind offers to stave off the lurgy.

    There has also been a rise in the number of domain names registered with swine flu in the title – a 30 times increase, in fact.

    While spam is generally considered a Bad Thing (a very, very Bad Thing) you have to admire the speed with which they switch between topics. One minutes it’s all baldness cures and herbal viagra, the next it’s H1N1.

    Now if only some Government departments/private sector firms could adapt and work half as quickly as the spammers…

    • Kynos says:

      One april fool’s day back in the early days of company email I sent out a general round robin advising that Telecom would be cleaning dust off the old lines running into the building and blowing steam through them to do this. People were advised not to answer calls between 1130 and 1200 and if they had to they should hold the receiver well away from their ears. Plastic bags were available in reception as an extra precaution. I think maybe 3 people out of around 90 rang reception for the bags. Them’s good averages for spammers.