FIFA World Cup accounts for 25% of Spam emails

Analysis reveals that the percentage of spam related to football and soccer keywords since March 2010 has approached 25 percent of all global spam in the build-up to the FIFA World Cup.

Fifa World Cup SpamThe FIFA World Cup is the latest newsworthy world event to be exploited in this way concludes Symantec’s June 2010 MessageLabs Intelligence Report.

MessageLabs Intelligence Senior Analyst, Paul Wood believes spammers are reliant on the massive wave of excitement surrounding the FIFA World Cup to be successful.

“Riding this wave, spammers get the attention of their victims by offering products for sale or enticing them to click on a link. It is not uncommon for the event to appear in the subject line of an email but for the body of the same email to be completely unrelated.”

Earlier this month, MessageLabs Intelligence reported on additional FIFA World Cup-related attacks. Beginning on June 2, MessageLabs Intelligence intercepted a run of 45 targeted malware emails en route to executives and managers at Brazilian companies, including those in the chemical, manufacturing and finance sectors. These attacks were designed to rely on social engineering tactics and World Cup excitement to compromise corporate systems and gain access to corporate information via the recipients.

The attack used dual attack modes – a PDF attachment and a malicious link – to increase the chances of success reasoning that if the PDF attachment is removed by an anti-virus gateway, the malicious link will remain in the cleaned email which many email filtering systems will then deliver to the recipient.

“Deceiving recipients into opening a message that contains unrelated content is an approach commonly used with malware. We expect to see more of these attacks as the football tournament continues.” Wood said.

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