Spam Uses MERS News to Bypass Antispam Filters

 Analysis by: Mary Jen Sen Chua

At the onset of June, news about the MERS disease began spreading around the globe. And just like in the past, cybercriminals and spammers are quick to leverage such notable news to proliferate their malicious activities. We recently spotted a spam email that employs stories about MERS in South Korea in order to bypass antispam filters. The news excerpts are inserted in the bottom part. It also uses invisible ink technique wherein spammers use white ink to make users think that it's a blank space, in order to evade antispam filters.

What’s the notable about this is that it doesn’t use the news as email subjects for its social engineering tactic like any typical spam run, to trick users into opening the email.  As such, we advised users to be wary in opening emails from unknown sources.

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