Alerts

World Financial Crisis Increases Spam Productivity

Although the global financial system could lose $2.8 trillion during the recession, the spamming industry could end this month on profit.

The initial mid-September collapse of
Lehman Brothers Bank, Merrill Lynch,
and AIG foretold not only the upcoming depression, but it was also an obvious
sign for the increased spamming activities that followed.

Speculating the general concern, which early
October turned into global panic as stock markets around the world crashed, spammers
tried to lure recipients by promoting services that claimed to eliminate or
leverage debts, mortgages, and other fiscal or loan obligations.

For instance, a large spam wave targeting
US residents advertised the services of a company that allegedly offers help to
stop foreclosure. As depicted below, the message speculates the latest bailout
plan announced by the US
President, George W. Bush.

World Crisis Spam

Based on a template also employed before
the recession, some other spam campaigns featuring financial ads gained a significant
volume during last weeks. Usually limited to a single body or subject line that
should hook the recipients, these messages direct the users through Web links towards
various Web sites, most of them probably involved in phishing schemes.

world crisis spam

Other spam waves used the economic crisis
as a simple decoy for advertising drugs, pirated software or replicas. The
message below, for instance, promotes the global depression’s antidote – a drug
for sexual life improvement.

world crisis spam

Last, but not least, one of the most recent
spam attempts relied on a multiple combination of automatically generated and
distributed junk e-mails and social networking profiles to direct the targeted
recipients towards the places (Web sites) where they can “leave debt behind”.

world crisis spam

world crisis spam

As credit continues to crunch, markets from
Wall Street to Tokyo
to roll down on the steep of slump and companies worldwide to report falling
profits, losses and bankruptcy, it looks like the only prolific business is
spam. But only as long as the users are tricked into allowing it in their
inboxes.

About the author

Răzvan LIVINTZ

With a humanities passion and background (BA and MA in Comparative Literature at the Faculty of Letters, University of Bucharest) - complemented by an avid interest for the IT world and its stunning evolution, I joined in the autumn of 2003 the chief editors' team from Niculescu Publishing House, as IT&C Chief Editor, where (among many other things) I coordinated the Romanian version of the well-known SAMS Teach Yourself in 24 Hours series. In 2005 I accepted two new challenges and became Junior Lecturer at the Faculty of Letters (to quote U2 - "A Sort of Homecoming") and Lead Technical Writer at BluePhoenix Solutions.

After leaving from BluePhoenix in 2008, I rediscovered "all that technical jazz" with the E-Threat Analysis and Communication Team at BitDefender, the creator of one of the industry's fastest and most effective lines of internationally certified security software. Here I produce a wide range of IT&C security-related content, from malware, spam and phishing alerts to technical whitepapers and press releases. Every now and then, I enjoy scrutinizing the convolutions of e-criminals' "not-so-beautiful mind" and, in counterpart, the new defensive trends throughout posts on www.hotforsecurity.com.

Balancing the keen and until late in night (please read "early morning") reading (fiction and comparative literature studies mostly) with Internet "addiction", the genuine zeal for my bright and fervid students with the craze for the latest discoveries in science and technology, I also enjoy taking not very usual pictures (I'm not a pro, but if you want to see the world through my lenses, here are some samples http://martzipan.blogspot.com), messing around with DTP programs to put out some nifty book layouts and wacky t-shirts, roaming the world (I can hardly wait to come back in the Big Apple), and last but not least, driving my small Korean car throughout the intricacies of our metropolis's traffic.