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Spammers target war fears

(By Robert Jaques)

Companies exploit terrorism fears and military 'memorabilia'

Spam exploiting the Iraqi conflict amounted to more than 10 per cent of all junk email last month.

According to web and email filtering firm SurfControl, most of the war-related spam began to appear in mid-March, using patriotism and fear to sell items including lapel pins, gas masks and "exclusive collectables that honour our military".

One widely dispersed spam email entitled "Terrorist Threat, Please Read!" was attempting to sell water filtration systems.

The invasion of Iraq has already attracted the attention of virus writers. Several email worms have been found that entice recipients to open them by promising live webcams from battle areas or satirical attachments mocking political figures at the centre of the conflict. Now spammers have set out their stalls and hope to cash in.

"Spam is already a huge problem, but companies worldwide are coming to realise it is only part of the problem," said Paris Trudeau, product marketing manager at SurfControl in a statement.

"All internet content you read, send and receive carries a risk. Consumers need to be vigilant in managing email to stop spam, junk, e-mail borne viruses and other risks."

Cybercrime News Archive

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