As Americans go to the polls to elect their 44th President, the security industry is facing a possible end to spam linked to the candidates.
Secure Computing has revealed that Democratic candidate Barack Obama has had spam linked to his name constantly, its Q3 2008 Internet Threat Report revealed that malware which targets users of social networking sites had become the main source of spam and that election-related spam soared, with the name Barack Obama featuring in over 80 per cent of the spam.
Its latest findings revealed that in the past week, the spam containing Obama's name has seen a significant increase and has maintained a lead margin approaching 70 per cent.
The spam messages included subject lines such subject lines as ‘Obama shows McCain what a real debate should be', ‘Obama's private video', ‘Obama's Biggest Mistake Yet' and ‘McCain belittles Obama's abilities.'
Secure Computing revealed that while the spam messages are enticing recipients to purchase a wide variety of items, the most prevalent are prescription drug promotions. It was also discovered that spam that relates to Republican candidate John McCain was more likely to point to a functional “Canadian Pharmacy” Web site than Obama spam.
The company claimed that McCain sells 20 per cent more spam referencing pharmaceutical Web sites vs. Obama and although Barack Obama had the edge in terms of the total number of emails sent, John McCain's emails are more likely to contain an active link to a Canadian Pharmacy website.
A spam campaign in early September, identified by Websense, indicated that an alleged sex tape of Obama was in fact a 14 second clip of a pornographic film that showed as a distraction while a Banker/Backdoor Trojan was downloaded.
Gerhard Eschelbeck, CTO at Webroot, said: “The malware landscape is evolving rapidly, and it is all about reaching broad and being undetected as long as possible. In order to reach their goals, malware writers are increasingly creative to lure users into infection. Timely topics such as the impending presidential election are today's topics of choice, while holiday greetings will be the topic of tomorrow, and I would not be surprised if we see the financial crisis as a decoy theme shortly.”