Story Tools: PRINT | Text Size: S M L XL | REPORT TYPO | SEND YOUR FEEDBACK

Spammers aim to cash in on viral potential of swine flu

By Emily Chung, CBCNews.ca

Legitimate businesses could probably learn something from spammers, who often identify new trends and move to exploit them far more quickly than the suit set does.

When the stock market was hot, spammers were sucking in suckers by encouraging them to invest in low-cost stocks the spammer owned shares in to pump up the stock's value. When the market plunged, they started using subject lines that involved mortgage refinancing or debt consolidation. A few weeks ago, when people feared the Conficker virus was readying for attack on April 1, the spammers were hawking fake antivirus software.

And what's the latest trend? Why, swine flu spam, of course (which, by nature, makes a pun completely unavoidable, I'm afraid).

Spammers are also making use of the fast-growing social networking site Twitter, which saw its popularity soar even higher after celebrities Ashton Kutcher and Oprah joined the flock a couple of weeks ago.

On Twitter, Swine Flu and #swineflu were the top two trending topics on Monday afternoon.

So perhaps it's not too surprising that the security firm Websense reported Monday that it had detected tens of thousands of spam messages marked with the "#swineflu" topic on Twitter. [CORRECTION: The public relations firm representing Websense later said that it had erred in saying that spam messages were being sent on Twitter. In fact, spammers have not yet started taking advantage of Twitter, says Stephan Chenette, Websense's manager of security research.]

Of course, jumping on a new trend doesn't necessarily mean having to dump the tried and true – the messages offer cheap pharma drugs, and Websense suspects they may be used to lure people into downloading malicious code.

« Previous Post | Main | Next Post »

This discussion is now Open. Submit your Comment.

« Previous Post | Main | Next Post »

Post a Comment

Disclaimer:

Note: By submitting your comments you acknowledge that CBC has the right to reproduce, broadcast and publicize those comments or any part thereof in any manner whatsoever. Please note that due to the volume of e-mails we receive, not all comments will be published, and those that are published will not be edited. But all will be carefully read, considered and appreciated.

Note: Due to volume there will be a delay before your comment is processed. Your comment will go through even if you leave this page immediately afterwards.

Privacy Policy | Submissions Policy

Story Tools: PRINT | Text Size: S M L XL | REPORT TYPO | SEND YOUR FEEDBACK

World »

CBC Investigates Did the UN ignore warnings of ethnic cleansing of Rohingya in Myanmar? video
According to internal documents and sources consulted by CBC News, there are signs several UN figures and other international actors — including a key Canadian official — have been reticent to pressure Myanmar on the rights of Rohingya.
Analysis Down, but not defeated: What is the future of ISIS after Raqqa?
Anti-ISIS fighters declared victory over the group in its de facto capital, but defeating its ideology will be a more difficult battle, writes Derek Stoffel.
George Soros donates $18B US to charity Open Society Foundations
Investor George Soros has transferred about $18 billion US, the majority of his estimated fortune, to his Open Society Foundations, making them the second largest philanthropic grant-making group in the United States, according to media reports on Tuesday.
more »

Canada »

New 'We are less as a country': Politicians pay tribute to Gord Downie video
Politicians are paying tribute to Canadian icon Gord Downie following his death, praising him as a musical legend, loving man and strong advocate for reconciliation with Indigenous people.
Critics question settlement program for banks that overcharged fees
As investors await refunds from banks and other financial institutions for hundreds of millions of dollars in excess fees, critics are questioning the process used to determine those refunds.
As trade irritants pile up, Trudeau calls Trump to sell Bombardier-Airbus deal video
Shortly after Bombardier announced its deal with Airbus that would give the European aerospace giant a majority stake in the CSeries jet program, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was on the phone to U.S. President Donald Trump.
more »

Politics »

New 'We are less as a country': Politicians pay tribute to Gord Downie video
Politicians are paying tribute to Canadian icon Gord Downie following his death, praising him as a musical legend, loving man and strong advocate for reconciliation with Indigenous people.
Breaking Quebec passes law prohibiting Muslim women from wearing niqab while using public services video
Quebec has adopted a law that would force Muslim women who wear a niqab or burka to uncover their faces to use public services.
As trade irritants pile up, Trudeau calls Trump to sell Bombardier-Airbus deal video
Shortly after Bombardier announced its deal with Airbus that would give the European aerospace giant a majority stake in the CSeries jet program, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was on the phone to U.S. President Donald Trump.
more »

Health »

Sorry - we can't find that page
 
CBC.ca

Sorry, we can't find the page you requested.

  1. Please check the URL in the address bar, or ...
  2. Use the navigation links at left to explore our site, or ...
  3. Enter a term in the Quick Search box at top, or ...
  4. Visit our site map page

In a few moments, you will be taken to our site map page, which will help you find what you looking for.

more »

Arts & Entertainment»

Live Tragically Hip's Gord Downie dead at 53 video
Gord Downie, the Tragically Hip frontman who united a diverse array of music lovers with his commanding stage presence and Canadiana-laced lyrics, has died.
'A universal story told in an Indigenous way:' Maori anthology tale Waru opens ImagineNative film fest video
Maori stories have been some of New Zealand's biggest box office successes, but it's time for female Maori stories to shine, say two of the filmmakers behind the anthological drama Waru.
CBC BOOKS George Saunders wins Man Booker Prize for Lincoln in the Bardo
George Saunders's Lincoln in the Bardo has won the Man Booker Prize, among the world's most lucrative English-language literary prizes.
more »

Technology & Science »

Twitter vows to crack down on nude photos tweeted without consent
Twitter says it's making policy changes to crack down on sexual harassment, including 'creep shots' taken without consent. It will also target hate and tweets that glorify or condone violence.
Why seeing a star crash is a 'watershed moment in astrophysics'
Gravitational waves have led scientists to something they’ve never seen before — the collision of two exotic objects called neutron stars. Here are some amazing things about that discovery.
Canso residents prepare for economic liftoff from proposed spaceport
Some residents are already making plans to cash in on proposed $100-million satellite launch facility.
more »

Money »

Analysis 800-pound gorilla thwarted by Bombardier's savvy move: Don Pittis
Giving away its prize asset, the CSeries aircraft, is Bombardier's smartest investment in years.
Amazon would save $1.5B a year in salaries if new HQ in Toronto area: Ed Clark
Ed Clark, the man heading up Ontario's bid to lure Amazon to the province, says the tech giant would save $1.5 billion a year in lower salaries for tech workers by locating in the Greater Toronto area.
George Soros donates $18B US to charity Open Society Foundations
Investor George Soros has transferred about $18 billion US, the majority of his estimated fortune, to his Open Society Foundations, making them the second largest philanthropic grant-making group in the United States, according to media reports on Tuesday.
more »

Consumer Life »

Sorry - we can't find that page
 
CBC.ca

Sorry, we can't find the page you requested.

  1. Please check the URL in the address bar, or ...
  2. Use the navigation links at left to explore our site, or ...
  3. Enter a term in the Quick Search box at top, or ...
  4. Visit our site map page

In a few moments, you will be taken to our site map page, which will help you find what you looking for.

more »

Sports »

[an error occurred while processing this directive]
Gord Downie's songs rich with Canadian sports history
The sad news that Gord Downie has died after battling terminal brain cancer reverberated across Canada on Wednesday, and sports fans have their own reasons to cherish the man whose lyrics were frequently peppered with references to Canadian sports history.
Olympic men's hockey teams starting to take shape
With the Winter Olympics now just a few months away, rosters for the men's hockey event will begin to take shape over four upcoming international tournaments. Here's a glance at the top eight contenders.
Preview Canada's speed skaters strive to live up to Olympic legacy
Coaches and athletes alike are expecting big things from Canadians in long track speed skating this season as the team looks to recreate its past success at the Winter Olympics.
more »

Diversions »

[an error occurred while processing this directive]
more »