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Spam targets victorious united supporters

Sophos : 23 May, 2008  (Technical Article)
Manchester United supporters targetted in spam campaign with link to spoof web site unrelated to the cup winning football team
IT security and control firm Sophos is warning Manchester United fans keen to bask in their team's glory to be wary of unsolicited emails following the discovery of a spam campaign that contains the URL mnchsterunited in the emails. Sophos experts note that by missing out just two letters of the club's name, the chances of unsuspecting victims not noticing and clicking on the link are heightened.

However, samples intercepted by SophosLabs, Sophos's global network of virus, spyware and spam analysis centres, did not make reference to the UEFA cup in the subject line - a tactic often used by cybercriminals to entice computer users into opening the message. Subject lines included:

'Change your small trout into a great white shark'
'She will remove her loin-cloth'
'Get a greater kangaroo pounder'

Email users who click on the link are not taken to the website of the multi-award-winning football club, but are instead taken to a store selling products to enhance male body parts.

'The spammers are clearly trying to take advantage of tired and hungover Man Utd fans who won't be paying too much attention to which emails they open today,' said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos. 'But, it seems the spammers are also a little tired today as they have missed a trick with the subject line. Hungover or not, most computer users now know not to open emails with such eyebrow-raising subject lines as these - which will hopefully mean fewer fans getting caught out.'

Sophos customers were automatically protected from reaching the website, before any samples of the messages were received by customers.

Sophos recommends that all computer users ensure their computer security is up to date and that they are fully protected against the latest spam, email and web threats.
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