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BitDefender: Valentine- themed spam hit the net with a furor this week

February 2008 by Bitdefender

Valentine- themed spam hit the net with a furor this week. The most notable volumes were achieved by a pharma wave including a wide range of pitches and a replica watch wave advertising “Perfect gifts for Valentine’s Day?”

Various other advertising waves made up the bulk of Valentine spam; the pages opened by the URLs included led the user to different online-shops (free spending gift cards, flower shops, music purchases).

The most annoying and dangerous themed spam is an adware- carrying wave. The emails pretended to open a page specialized in sending e-cards (“Wish them love and a happy Valentines Day with one of our animated, personal greeting cards”), but instead the user was sent to a “smiley center”. If the user downloads the “free smiles”, she also receives an adware "gift".

According to BitDefender antispam analysts, the total amount of spam sent has been increasing by 20-25% since December 2007. The emails related to Valentine’s Day represent a significant part of this growth.

"Believe it or not, spammers are actually starting to target their messages in hopes of getting greater returns" commented Bogdan Dumitru, BitDefender CTO.

BitDefender recommends (aside from not clicking spam links) the use of an integrated security solution, one that offers antivirus, antispam and a firewall, but also advanced features like web filtering and identity protection.

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