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 »

16 dead after hot air balloon crashes in Texas
There were no survivors after a hot air balloon, believed to be carrying at least 16 people, caught fire and crashed in central Texas, the state's Department of Public Safety confirms.
Doping investigator faces 'deluge of requests' on Russians
The author of the report that that accused Russia's sports ministry of overseeing doping among Olympic athletes in more than two dozen summer and winter sports has been inundated with requests to name the individuals implicated.
Belgium arrests 2 brothers, charge 1 in attack plot
Authorities in Belgium have charged a man with planning to commit murder in a terrorist attack and released his brother after a series of house searches.
more »

Canada »

Quebec motorcyclist dead after biker group tries to pass truck hauling camper in northern N.B.
A 51-year-old Quebec man died and nine others were injured after their motorcycles crashed in a "domino effect" while trying to pass a truck hauling a camper trailer near Edmundston, N.B., on Friday night, police say.
Updated Police search for suspect after shooting at fitness class in Christie Pits Park
A shooting at an outdoor fitness class in Christie Pits park has left one man in life-threatening condition and another with minor injuries early Saturday, Toronto paramedics say.
Slain Whitefish First Nation couple were 'wonderful kids' destined to lead their community
Two bright futures went black, like someone flipped off a light switch, earlier this week, when someone shot and killed Dylan Laboucan, 17, and his girlfriend, Cory Grey, 19, and dumped their bodies on two separate well sites on the Whitefish Lake First Nations reserve.
more »

Politics »

Feds expect provinces to ratify free trade deal next year, with booze in the mix
Canada's provinces and territories will ratify a free trade deal next year and the federal government is pushing hard to include an ambitious liberalization of alcohol laws in the agreement despite provincial intransigence, the country's economic development minister says.
Analysis Details of interprovincial free trade deal won't be public for months
It could be months before Canadians learn what's really in — and more importantly, out of — the interprovincial free trade deal Canada's premiers announced in Whitehorse last Friday. Not only is it not finished, but at least one part clashes with another trade deal.
Analysis Clinton, Trump and trade: The curious case of the Democrat attack dogs that didn't bark
Speaker after speaker at the Democratic convention condemned Donald Trump — but not even Bill Clinton, who fathered NAFTA, found fault with Trump's pledge to rip it up. Ditto, Hillary Clinton. This doesn't bode well for Canada.
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»

JK Rowling hopes Harry Potter stage play goes global
The stage play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child had its gala opening Saturday in London's West End and is already the theatre event of the year.
Jennifer Aniston's essay inspires actresses to address sexist standards
While actresses are cheering Jennifer Aniston's recent essay connecting the media's obsession with her looks to the overall objectification of women, most are resigned that reality will be slow to catch up with the conversation.
Court order narrows down Prince's potential heirs in estate fight
A Minnesota judge overseeing Prince's estate narrowed down the wide pool of potential heirs for the late superstar's fortune on Friday, ruling out nearly 30 claimants while ordering genetic testing for six purported family members.
more »

Technology & Science »

Emoji equality: Useless trend or meaningful push to encourage diversity?
Google's announcement of 11 new emoji depicting women in different professional roles is the latest push for more diversity among the selection of tiny characters.
White dwarf star blasts its red giant companion with powerful radiation beam
Astronomers have discovered a new and unusual type of binary star lurking in our corner of the universe: one where a tiny white dwarf appears to blast its companion star with a beam of electrons every two minutes.
Employers now responsible for protecting their workers on social media
A recent labour ruling is setting a precedent for companies that use social media to respond to customer complaints.
more »

Money »

B.C. taxes foreign home buyers and gold's lustrous climb : BUSINESS WEEK WRAP
From the introduction of B.C. new foreign home-buyer tax to new research on the benefits of higher education, it was a busy week in business news. The CBC's Jacqueline Hansen sorts out the details in her weekly video recap.
Feds expect provinces to ratify free trade deal next year, with booze in the mix
Canada's provinces and territories will ratify a free trade deal next year and the federal government is pushing hard to include an ambitious liberalization of alcohol laws in the agreement despite provincial intransigence, the country's economic development minister says.
Employers now responsible for protecting their workers on social media
A recent labour ruling is setting a precedent for companies that use social media to respond to customer complaints.
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]
Recap Blue Jays thrash Orioles with 5th inning explosion to claim 1st place in AL East
Devon Travis hit a home run, Kevin Pillar drove in four, and the Blue Jays used a seven-run fifth inning en route to a 9-1 victory over the Baltimore Orioles on Saturday afternoon that moved Toronto into sole position of first place in the American League East.
Rogers Cup: Nishikori advances to final with win over Wawrinka
Japan's Kei Nishikori defeated Switzerland's Stan Wawrinka 7-6 (6), 6-1 on Saturday to advance to the Rogers Cup final.
Player's Own Voice Quest for Olympic medal takes cyclist on historic road
Canadian cyclist Georgia Simmerling isn't motivated by stats or numbers. So when the Vancouver native is asked how she feels about becoming the first Canadian woman to compete in three different sports at the Olympics, she doesn't have a answer. Only that a medal won't define her career.
more »

Diversions »

[an error occurred while processing this directive]
more »