Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2005/08/31/spam_superheroes/

Develop 'super-human' like powers... fast!

Spammers target the superhero in us all

By Gavin Clarke

Posted in Security, 31st August 2005 22:20 GMT

Spammers are capitalizing on Hollywood's love affair with superhero flicks to lure gullible email readers with offers of phenomenal superhuman powers.

Clearswift's latest monthly spam index has found spammers are making tall offers for software they claim would "automatically motivate, empower and re-educate your mind to develop 'super-human' like powers... fast!" Also on the table are magic coins that would "change your life."

August's most outlandish offer combines the promise of x-ray vision and telepathic powers to serve nefarious anti-social and anti-government purposes.

One spam promised readers the ability to: "Use your computer to investigate almost anyone!" Yes, almost anyone - except, possibly, the spammer themselves. The offer continued: "Find our what's in your FBI file. Check out an employee, a neighbor or your daughter's date!"

Clearswift, maker of the MIMEsweeper for SMTP 5.1 email scanning and anti-virus software, said unscrupulous spammers are targeting the alleged "superhero within".

It says that spammers could be (our emphasis), trying to jump on the bandwagon of the superhero film craze, noting the recent US releases of Batman Returns and the Fantastic Four. Hmmm.

Or maybe it could be a case of Clearswift over-contextualising like a crazy thing.

Online gambling was to blame for August's biggest surge in spam. Clearswift reports a 1,500 per cent jump in bulk email offering 101 ways to blow your pay check.

But there was reassuring news for seasoned spam watchers, who are more used to the regular promises of huge personal physical and financial endowment. Financial and health continued to be the bread and butter of spam scammers accounting for 31 per cent and 41 per cent of all unsolicited emails respectively. Emails from get-rich-quick schemes more than doubled, accounting for 52 per cent of all spam. ®