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.
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.
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.
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”.
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