Latest spam scams use Google, Olympics

Using new techniques to trick users into opening misleading, fraudulent and potentially harmful messages, spammers have recently targeted Google, the Olympic games and US Bank NA, according to SurfControl, a vendor of Web and e-mail filtering software.

"There is greater awareness of the risks associated with spam and e-mail, so spammers must continually create new techniques to trick end users," Susan Larson, vice president of global content at SurfControl, said in a statement. "Companies should be on the lookout for these new techniques and others as they emerge."

SurfControl said the Google scam, discovered this week, appears in in-boxes with the subject line "Google, #1 Search Engine." The e-mail asks users to download the latest Google tool bar to stop pop-up ads and spyware and then directs them to a link to download the tool bar executable. However, this download is most likely a virus-infected file, according to SurfControl.

At least two aspects of the e-mail indicated it was a hoax, SurfControl said. First, the sender address was from an individual, rather than Google. Second, the IP address for the tool bar download matches that of a suspicious Web site that sells "The Essential Underground Handbook," a guide to get-rich-quick schemes and other forms of fraud, according to SurfControl.

SurfControl's research team also said spammers are increasingly embedding images into their messages rather than using HTML, which allows them to work around spam protections that can block HTML-based graphics offered in Microsoft Outlook. And since the text is all part of the embedded image, this techniques also bypasses the text-scanning abilities of traditional antispam filters, the company said.

SurfControl said this technique was found in three spam messages this week, including one that appeared to spoof US Bank as part of a phishing scam.

SurfControl also discovered a scam using excitement around the 2004 Olympic Games to help the scammer circumvent new federal antispam law. With subject lines including "Olympic Games," "Olympic Medals," "ATHENS 2004" and "ATHENS RANKS," the message appeared to provide the latest Olympic medal tallies.

However, directly beneath the tallies was the name of a company "sponsoring" the information -- with a link to an advertisement for Viagra.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Linda Rosencrance

Show Comments


James Cook University - Master of Data Science Online Course

Learn more >


Victorinox Werks Professional Executive 17 Laptop Case

Learn more >



Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?